AN: I do apologize for the delay, life is rather busy these days however I have not forgotten about this story and the lovely people who follow it. I appreciate your patience while waiting and willingness to go on this journey with me.

She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, hair the color of bronze cascading to her mid back and eyes the color of summer. It had been love at first sight, at least on his part; Keiko however had taken quite a bit of convincing that Tsukishima was the one for her. Keiko was one of those rare women who was everything a man could ever want and didn't know it, her smile was genuine and warm and one could not help but to bask in her presence. He had been shy at first, but when his actions were welcomed he grew bolder and bolder, he knew the lady with the bronze hair and laughing eyes was his one and only. Theirs had been a long and leisurely courtship, for this was not something he had wanted to rush; no he had to handle this delicately. It all came to a head when he surprised her with an outing one fine fall day, the crisp air ruffling her hair across her face he took her to one of his favorite spots. He had always liked the outdoors and a nice shaded spot by a clear blue river one was of his favorites. It was there he went to think, to relax, and it was this same place he asked Keiko to be his wife.

And she had said yes.

Their wedding had been a quiet affair, with only family and close friends toasting their union. Like their wedding their marriage had been quiet, simple, peaceful and loving. The years passed quietly and despite their best efforts Keiko could not get with child, Tsukishima had assured her it was OK; he was content with it just being them but as cycle after cycle passed and she remained barren her psychological well being began to tear apart. When he suggested they quit trying she burst into tears saying he didn't understand, of course then they got pregnant.

Yet for Tsukishima and Keiko it sadly ended terribly. 29 weeks in she began cramping and bleeding, rushing her to the hospital the doctors told the couple the fetal heart rate was low and the baby would not make it. Keiko's only option was to deliver the baby, knowing it would be dead or dying. She bravely went through contraction after painful contraction, refusing all pain medication so she could feel her child as tears poured from her face the whole time; hand clenched in her husbands. Finally the baby was delivered, a little girl, who had passed during birth. As Tsukishima held the tiny corpse he heard the doctor speaking rapidly to the nurses, something had happened and had gone wrong. His wife was pale, shaking, there was so much blood. Quickly they rushed his wife into the operating room while he stood there in shock, his little baby dead in his arms.

Keiko had given her life for the child, and a severe uterine hemorrhage had torn her from his. Devastated by his loss and not wanting to live he had done the only thing he could think to do, take his own life. He would have been successful in his attempt under any other circumstances, but when he stepped out in front of that car he stepped out in front of a driver with lightening quick reflexes. He stepped out in front of Ginjou.

While Ginjou was unable to stop from hitting him completely he had slowed down enough so the impact did not have the desired result of death. Tsukishima while badly injured had made it, Ginjou a wanted criminal didn't dare show his face at the hospital so instead he nursed him back to health himself. When Tsukishima came to all he said was one sentence, over and over.

"Why didn't you let me die?"

It was like a snake circling a mouse. Tsukishima's head hung low as his wrists bled from the shackles he was suspended from, feet barely skimming the ground. Aizen couldn't see his face but he was sure it was twisted in pain. He had known this day would come, he knew out of the two Tsukishima was the weaker one, the one who still held a glimmer of hope in his heart. Well, now there was no choice but to stamp it out, he knew of Keiko; of his past. Ginjou hadn't been too willing to talk but some careful and delicate persuasion loosened his lips considerably and he got what he needed, perfect to use against the man in his final moments.

He gently ran his blade down Tsukishima's back, bright red rivulet's sprouting up and running down in a beautiful cadence of life. As his blade danced gently on the supple skin of the man he heard a low laugh and his eyes narrowed. This was not supposed to be fun for Tsukishima, he was supposed to be thinking Keiko, his beloved had betrayed him; he was to be in misery right now not laughing. Vexed he applied a little more pressure to his blade, cutting the skin a little deeper; no reaction this time. He grabbed Tsukishima's chin and forced his face up, the man's eyes were clouded over as if no longer in this world and a small smile played on his lips. Growling he violently shoved the man backwards, chains clanking and dark hair swinging. He angrily paced in a circle around him, what was going on? How had this happened? Or was the general so far gone that he was no longer mentally in this plane? No, that wasn't it he knew Tsukishima was stronger than that, much stronger. Yet why, why was he not miserable, crying and whimpering as he should be?

He flung himself into his chair and watched. Tsukishima hung there, his hair damp with perspiration, eyes barely open, lips in a secretive smile. Blood running down his wrists and the joints of his arms starting to bruise prettily from being strung up. His torso glinted in the half light, blood from his back curving around it as if embracing him. His lean, long legs not even attempting to gain purchase on the floor that his toes barely skimmed. Why if he didn't know better he would say Tsukishima appeared content.