I recently read chapter 502 of Bleach and it really pissed me off. It made me tear up too. The pain of losing family is unbearable. I just had to pay homage to the Kuchiki siblings.

The Cherry Blossom Spark

Set before The Thousand-Year Blood War Arc, but after the Fullbring Arc.

It was a quiet, yet peaceful night in the Kuchiki manor. Rukia's steps were soundless as she made her way over to the kitchen. She made sure not to disturb the silence in the darkened manor.

It was just one of those nights where one would randomly awaken severely thirsty. A thirst that came out of nowhere yet was as strong as any other. The need for water to quench said thirst was unbearable. Rukia just had to appease it.

She passed a few doors, long hallways, took a left and finally reached her destination. Making swift movements, she poured herself some water and just as quickly she devoured it down; almost like a man who'd been stranded on a desert for three days.

Making sure to first clean the expensive cup, she began making the trek back to her quarters. This time she was feeling slightly more paranoid and was extra careful in being silent. Oh, how she dreaded these creaky wooden floors.

Her attention was on her feet and the annoying noises each made when stepping onto the floor. It wasn't until she looked back up that she realized she was going the wrong way.

"Crap..." She whispered.

This was dangerously close to her brother's room. That was the main reason she was doing this incognito mission, so she wouldn't disturb her brother. Rukia sighed and began turning back. She could've sworn she saw his shoji door was opened, but she dismissed the thought afterwards. Her route to her room was more important right now.

Rukia passed through the veranda and took a glance at the moon. The light illuminating from it gave a nice glow to the quiet mansion. There was a nice breeze too. It was then from the corner of her eye that she noticed a figure by the koi pond.

"Nii-sama... what's he doing here?"

His attention was solely on the moon. She could see the light from the moon reflected in the corner of his eyes. Unfortunately for her, Byakuya turned to face her. Rukia stopped dead in her tracks, like a deer caught in the headlights. He stared right at her and Rukia just couldn't face away. He motioned for her to come and she wordlessly approached him.

Fearing that he'd reprimand her, she quickly spoke up. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to disturb you Nii-sama"

"Rukia, " He simply said, devoid of any kind of emotion. " What were you doing up so late? "

"Well, you see..." Rukia trailed off. She couldn't possibly tell him her reason for being up was for a glass of water.

She wondered why he was up as well, but Rukia imagined his reason wasn't as trivial as hers. She had to think of something clever. "I was... using the bathroom."

He blankly stared at her and Rukia wanted to smash her head with something. Talk about the opposite of clever. But he says nothing and turns to the moon again. She then notices he's in his sleepwear, a rare occasion indeed. She's so use to seeing him in his captain's haori, that seeing him in anything else almost seems alien to her.

Her curiosity is now attacking her as vigorously as the desire to quench her thirst was, and she wants to know; wants to know why he's here.

She wonders; his face gives nothing away, as usual. This only spikes her curiosity even more.

It then hits her, how could she have missed it? And she feels guilty, guilty for intruding in his reminiscing. Of course he'd be unable to sleep, who'd be able to? Would anyone be able to sleep on the anniversary of their deceased loved one.

She needs to leave, wants to leave, knows she must leave, but somehow her body isn't functioning; it won't move. If only he could just send her away. She may not be able to make own self leave at the moment, but she knows his order would. Her mind is trained to obey his orders, seeming almost mechanical.

And yet... he says nothing. Making this worse. So she just stands there, by his side. She too, begins to stare at the moon.

It's quiet. A few minutes ago Rukia would've appreciated the silence, but now the silence is suffering. So she attempts to rid the silence. "The moon is lovely tonight."

He only nods, and again the awful silence surrounds them. His face is emotionless, but not the emotionless face she's use to. No, this was different. It was a melancholy sort of look. She didn't like it one bit. It reminded her too much of the look Ichigo had when it was the anniversary of his mother's death.

Minutes pass by and Rukia completely forgets how long they've been standing there for. She wouldn't leave though, she'd stay here as long as he did. Even if he decides to stay here all night, she'd stay.

After a few more minutes he finally spoke. In his stern and stoic demeanor. "Hisana enjoyed watching the moon."

Rukia turned her attention to him, but stayed quiet.

"On certain occasions I'd join her. We'd watch it together."

Rukia wondered if her presence was bothering him. If it was reminding him that he no longer had Hisana here.

"Nii-sama, why are you here?"

It seemed redundant since he had pretty much confirmed his reason for being here, but he knew she was asking for more.

"I suppose it's a habit now."

It was shocking to see her brother opening up, if even just a little. It wasn't everyday that the two would have these types of conversations. It made her feel somewhat daring.

"Did she... get used to this place immediately?"

Byakuya was slightly taken back and he cast a glance at her. Rukia turned away, taking his serious look as one of reprehension. "My apologies Nii-sama, it's none of my business."

"She didn't. "


"She didn't get used to living here so easily."

Rukia was stunned to hear he was actually answering her question, but she was flattered too. He hadn't ignored her.

"She felt like an outsider."

Rukia lowered her eyes. "I see..." An outsider, like she had felt when she were brought here.

"It must've been hard for you too."

"N-no, it wasn't." Rukia quickly responded.

"You don't have to lie Rukia." Byakuya replied. He paused momentarily before gazing back at the moon. "Hisana would always give me that same answer, that it wasn't difficult for her. I knew that wasn't really the case."

Rukia could sense he was blaming himself. She didn't want him too. She knew he had a hard life, and it was difficult for him to be as open as people like Renji and her captain were. But Rukia knew better, she knew he tried his best in his own way. She knew deep down there was a heart.

Rukia gave him a smile. "At the end of the day, I'm sure she was glad to have been here... I truly believe that."

Byakuya felt himself swell with pride. Rukia's words had made him feel lighter. They put him at ease, her presence had always been comforting. Even if he had never said it. It reminded him that he still had someone here. Someone he'd protect no matter what.

Byakuya faced his sister. "Only those whom I have an undying devotion to, get to hear these important words. Rukia, will you accept them?"

Rukia nodded happily. "Mmhmm."

Then Byakuya gave her an unfamiliar look. One where the corner of his mouth tilted upwards very slightly and his eyes sparkled with something she couldn't put her finger on, but she kept her smile on as he spoke.

"I love you."

Rukia gasped lightly in surprise. Her smile replaced by a small 'o' of shock. In seconds that look was replaced, Rukia turned away sheepishly; wearing a bigger smile than before.

... ... ...

As Rukia crawled into her bed the events from moments ago kept replaying in her mind.

"I love you "

"What is this feeling... I feel so calm."

"I love you."

"I feel... so happy."

Moments later and Rukia had dozed off, a content smile on her face.

Author's Notes

I'm really happy with how this turned out. I know this is different from my other comedy-based Bleach story, but I just had to write something for these two.