Breath of Life
Rain Pours Down

"What of it?" Kaien could feel his throat tightening as he said this to Isshin. "At least though he's not yelling at his daughter anymore." Things though didn't go his way as Toshiro decided to speak up and the conversation between the two escalated as soon as his older brother said he knew that Yuzu and he were both lying. He could feel his stomach clenching and his throat tightening even more. The boy said something strange and then Isshin turned to him.

"Why? You're also family."

"Why lie? He's asking why would I lie if I understand that I'm family, but..." Kaien noticed Isshin's hand from the corner of the eye and knew the older man was going to try and get him to look him in the eye. He back handed the hand away hard enough to have a small slapping sound. "I'm a stranger. I'm a stranger even to myself Isshin."

Realization hit him, a sinking feeling hitting him deep and hard. He heard what the other said but the feeling of needing to leave suddenly took over despite the fact he knew it would upset everyone else. As soon as he went through the door he found himself suddenly feeling the rain hitting him on the head, causing him to look up at the sky. "I showed up in front of Isshin in the rain, so perhaps it is fitting that I leave in the rain as well."

He then walked away, his feet splashing in the water as the rain soaked his body. He simply kept walking, stopping when he had to let cars pass him by. The whirl of the engines of the car came to his ears and caused his mind to sink deeper into the darkness of empty memories. He found himself stopping in front of a family restaurant, something catching his attention.

Turning his head he saw a mother and father with their two children enjoying a family dinner. Letting out a deep sigh he began to continue walking. "Maybe the real reason you're upset is because Isshin has what you always wanted. Maybe he doesn't have a wife anymore, but they did have children." Pausing to look at the sky again he found the corner of his mouth twisting up. "Yet why am I jealous of that when I didn't even have a wife?"

He closed his eyes and let the rain pour down, enjoying the feeling of letting it soak his skin. He took a deep breath as his clothing stuck to his body. A voice though spoke up causing him to break from the empty thoughts. "Aren't you Ichigo-chan's uncle?"

The man startled, turning to see the woman he had met earlier standing there with her son, one hand on the handle of an umbrella and her other hand on the child's hand. A bag of groceries was over her arm and the boy was glaring at him. He blinked a couple of times. "It's Unagiya-san isn't it?"

"No... I told you that Ikumi was fine." The woman frowned. "You're soaking wet. Why don't you stop by my place before you head back home."

"I don't know if that is a good idea." Kaien's eyes drifted to the small boy who was now glancing away. "I don't think Kaoru-chan likes me." His mind though spoke up then. "Wait... that makes it sound as if her kid is a brat." Letting out a deep sigh. "I mean to say he's not comfortable with me around. And what about your husband?"

"I don't have a husband. It's just Kaoru-chan and me. It just takes time for him to open up to people who are new to him."

"I'm a complete stranger, not to mention a male. Why would you let me into your house without knowing who I am?"

"You're Ichigo's Uncle. You also don't know who you are any more then I do which means you're going to be even more worried about doing something you shouldn't then I am."

"That..." Kaien turned his head to look at Kaoru. "Does that make any sense to you?" The boy's eyes widened a bit and then he shook his head. "See, if your son doesn't think it makes any sense do you think it's going to make sense to me?"

"You're an adult, but since you want me to explain it to you on his level I will." Ikumi leaned down to speak with the small boy. "Hey, Kaoru-chan. Let's say you lost your memories but still knew right from wrong. What would do if that was all you knew? Would you do the right thing instead of the wrong thing because you know doing the wrong thing is bad?"

The boy first took a deep breath and glared at the man. He then looked away and nodded his head. Ikumi looked back up at Kaien, a smile on her face. "See?"

"Yeah... really can't argue with that kind of logic either." Kaien continued to look down at the boy, knowing full well the child wasn't pleased with the turn of events. He pushed his hands into the pockets of the jeans pockets before following after the woman. His lips pushed together, the sinking feeling he had since before he left not going away. They arrived at the woman's place and he watched as she unlocked the door.

There was a sign outside of the door indicated that her place was also a place of business. After the mother and child stepped through the door he followed suit, removing his wet shoes as he did. Glancing around he saw a couch and desk indicating this was used for business purposes. The woman let go of the boy's hand and maneuvered the umbrella to the other hand. She handed the bag to the small boy.

"Why don't you take this to the kitchen while I show our guest to the bathroom."

Kaien watched as the boy took the bag from his mother and then stuck his tongue out at the man. "He really doesn't want me here."

"Go take a shower and put your clothes into the basket and I'll put them into the dryer for you." The man opened his mouth to argue the point only to have her point a finger at him, her eyes narrowing. "No arguments. Means I can hold one over Ichigo if I need too."

"Really... she reminds me of... someone." Kaien shook his head before heading in to the shower. The hot water poured down his shoulders. "Seriously though, this is not a situation I wish to be in and nii-sama will be even more pissed at me if he finds out. It doesn't feel right, but then neither did saying at nii-sama's place either. Not with my own niece..."

His mind paused as he leaned back. "Seriously... this..."

"No foul language. I don't want Kauro learning any bad words."

Kaien paused. "You know... you haven't a clue was to what occurred over at nii-sama's place. If you did I doubt..."

"Don't care. I'm putting your stuff into the dryer. It will be done in five to ten minutes. Since you insist though that I should know what occurred tonight I guess I now have an excuse to call the Kurosaki household to let them know you're here."

"Yeah... she does remind me of someone." Kaien closed his eyes as the water washed over his shoulders. "Well, when she finds out she can very well go ahead and kick me out."


Ikumi hadn't planned on running into that person a second time that day. She tossed the items into the dryer and headed to the phone, noticing that Kauro peeking out from the kitchen. "I'll be making dinner in a bit. I just need to call Ichigo-chan's home so they know where his uncle is."

"He's not a little kid."


"He's older then him."


The boy glared at her before shutting the door. Ikumi let out a deep sigh before dialing the cellphone number. It rang and Ichigo picked it up. "Hello?"

"Hello Ichigo-chan!"

"Oh... it's you Ikumi-san. I think I'll hang up now."

"Now hold on mister! Don't you dare hang up. I'm calling to tell you that Kaien is here."

"What? How? Actually, how did the two of you even meet?"

"That's beside the point. Can I speak with your father for a second."

"I don't see why..."

"Ichigo..." The woman heard the young man sigh before he handed his phone over.


"Did Ichigo-chan tell you that Kaien is here?"

"No, he didn't."

"Well, your brother is at your son's work place taking a shower. He says I wouldn't let him stay in the house if I knew what happened at your place."

"My daughter Yuzu has... hold on. I'm stepping out of the room so no one over hears." A few seconds later Isshin came back on. "My daughter Yuzu has... had... a brother fetish with Ichigo. She transferred from Ichigo to Kaien and because she didn't believe he was her uncle she crossed a line she shouldn't have."

"So that's what's eating at him? Sheesh... he's as bad as your son."

"Ichigo always reminded me of Kaien more then myself. Would it be all right if I come over a bit later to drag him home?"

"Sure. Of course."