Author's POV

~Two Weeks Later~

Taking in a deep breath, Ichigo proceeded to open the doors. His legs lost feeling and his fingers were already numb. Ichigo didn't smile, nor did he shed tears, he simply gave a gentile nod to each person who walked by.

Kisuke placed a hand on Ichigo's shoulders, giving the teen's body an apologetic shake. Ichigo sighed and looked down, and that was how he remained until a familiar inverted shihakusho appeared in his vision.

Ichigo clung to Shiro with all his might, but he still didn't cry. Shiro placed his hands on Ichigo's back, soothing the teen with gentile strokes and rubbing motions. Ichigo could still feel his hollow's warmth and he was always ever-so-glad he gave his hollow a chance.

Shiro placed his lips on Ichigo's cheek, whispering softy, "I'm here fer ya Ichigo" then pulling back.

Ichigo nodded, swallowing the spit gathered in his mouth. Then, clearing his throat, Ichigo made his way to the front of the very large (quiet) crowd.

He spoke.

"The past few weeks have been tough on us all..." Ichigo began.

Yoruichi, Kisuke and Soi Fon each sat with their heads looking down.

"We've all been pushed to our limits both physically and mentally."

Momo couldn't supress her tears, even just barely her sobs, as she cried against Toshiro's shoulder. Toshiro, feeling awkward at first, now sat motionlessly and allowed Momo to continue. Rangiku comforted the third seat from the other side, gently rubbing poor Momo's back.

"The Soul Society has suffered a large amount of damage..."

Byakuya, Rukia, Renji and Jushiro sat with their heads up and looking at the four black caskets resting behind Ichigo. In another row, Kisara, Shunsui and Nanao were doing the same thing. Each one of their faces was blank.

"...but that isn't why we're here."

Shiro looked down causing a chain reaction of tears from other Shinigami. Shiro was glad that the others were finally there for Ichigo, but he silently wished to tell them all "Fuck off!" He knew they just wanted to make Ichigo feel better... but Shiro knew they were making Ichigo feel worse.

"Two weeks ago today, Kurosaki Isshin..." One tear fell. "...Kurosaki Karin, Kurosaki Yuzu..." Three tears fell. "...and Orihime Inoue passed away from this world."

'The say that Shinigami are not allowed to cry,' Rukia thought. 'They say it's a weakness of the soul, and it'd prove fatal in battle. But they ask too much and no one really knows who 'they' are anyways.' Rukia looked up at Ichigo, noticing how strained he was trying to keep his tears within. 'It's okay to cry. After all, Ichigo's a teenager who's lost his family, who's supposed to lead an entire army and who's suffered more than any of us here.'

Shiro stood and made his way to Ichigo. He wrapped his arms around the sobbing teen, placing a gentile kiss on his forehead. "We'll always remember those we've lost, but we're gonna stay strong an' we're gonna push back twice as hard whenever someone hits us first!"

Many of the men cheered, some of the girls smiled and many remained in tears. Ichigo smiled thankfully up at Shiro, placing a kiss on his lips before tucking his head safely beneath Shiro's head.

"Right," Soi Fon took over the attention, "today we rest, but tomorrow we resume training as per usual. The Soul Society needs fixing and it's up to us to do so."

Shiro and Ichigo nodded at Soi Fon, who nodded back and flashed off.

The Seireitei was fixed in a matter of days. All damage was repaired and some buildings were even redesigned. Ichigo and Shiro remade everything from memory, and although it was a lot of work, everybody was glad when the Soul Society was returned to normal.

And so, I guess you could say, they all lived hap-

Shiro: No! I ain't doin' this! No cheesy endin's!

Me: Aw come on Shiro! The happy ones are always cheesy!

Shiro: Can I have ice cream instead of cheese?

Me: ...why?

Shiro: One, the cold makes Ichi squirm, and two, strawberries taste better covered in chocolate!

Ichigo: O.o

Me: ...way to end the story...

Shiro: *laughs evilly* *drags Ichigo off*

Me: ...And not on the couch!

The End