Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach or any Bleach affiliates.
Three Months Later
Rukia never thought she'd be in such a place. Her heart felt like it was going to explode if Ichigo didn't stop soon. Above her, sweat dripped down his face, angling over his cheekbones and sliding down his taunt neck. Trembling violently, she raised her hands and clasped them tightly around his straining column—careful not to squeeze too tightly. Her hips rolled under his and his chest scraped across hers. Her tenderized nipples tightened even more with each jerking pass and she desperately tugged his mouth down onto hers, needing to taste him as she came.
His forearms wiggled under her shoulders and his nails dug into the sheets. Their lips collided and her tongue instantly wisped his mouth apart. He groaned deeply in his throat and fought to slow the pace of his urgent hips. Rukia moaned at the deliberate progress and sent muffled curses into his mouth. She was so close and the bastard just had to… just had to…
One of her hands left his salty neck and traveled over the planes of his body. The solid, muscled curves were slick with sweat and she glided down them easily. As quickly as she could, she curled her fingers into claws and dug them into the tender flesh of his backside. With one violent tug she jerked him forward and buried his cock even deeper inside of her. So deep, in fact, that she could feel him against the trembling, weeping, wall of her cervix.
His eyes shot open. His mouth ripped from hers. A roar unlike any she had ever heard before was pushed through his throat. His body jerked and spasmed as he came violently within her. He covered her, skin to skin, in a tight grip as he thrust into her mindlessly, needing to fulfill his animalistic desire to find release.
While Ichigo shuddered and shook, Rukia clawed her nails even harder into him, pulling him as far into her as she could and holding him there. She wanted to come with his cock buried deep with her. Gasping, she threw her head back and let loose a hoarse yell. Her climax came crashing over her like a tsunami on an unsuspecting town. It left her feeling complete and dizzy and content and unstable all at the same time.
After a moment of breathless hovering, Ichigo fell limply to the side. She smiled through her exhaustion at the small motion; he always tried to hurl himself to one side or the other so he wouldn't crush her beneath him. Not a second later he automatically lifted his arms, wrapped them around her body, and tugged her towards him.
His panting breath echoed in her ear and she groaned happily. His hard and warm form melted against hers and she snuggled in even closer.
"Damn," he gasped, bringing a hand up and running it over his face. Rukia shifted in his arms and pressed warm, open-mouthed, kisses to his collarbone, her tongue taking in tiny drops of sweat along the way. "I knew our sex before was good before but… engagement sex is even better."
"Don't forget the dating sex," she said, grinning gently. One shoulder shrugged upwards and she chuckled, "It was only for a few days but it was good too."
"Yeah," Ichigo groaned, leaning over and flicking the tip of her nose with his tongue.
"Gross," she muttered, tilting her lips up instead and grabbing his.
His hand reached to the back of her head and he gently gripped the sweaty locks, pulling her even closer into him. Rukia's eyelids fluttered gently against her cheeks as his second hand came to rub the curve of her hip. Moaning softly, she gripped him tightly and swung one leg over both of his. With one, powerful, shove, Ichigo was on his back and Rukia was straddling his slim hips.
She wretched her lips from his and purposefully began to grind her hips into his—small, teasing circles that would get him just where she wanted him.
Ichigo's breath became faster and more spastic as his eyes witnessed her lips curling into a wicked smirk.
"Round two?" He gasped, his hands moving onto her hips and holding them tightly. She grinned when she realized he was trying to stop her from moving her hips like that. She knew what she was doing drove him crazy.
"I think," she whispered, placing her hands on each of his pectorals and tweaking his nipples gently, "That… round two…" she lowered her mouth and Ichigo's pants became more and more intense, "Would be…" her eyes roved his face—his chin, his mouth, his nose, his eyes…
The alarm clock one foot from his head.
With a sudden squeak, Rukia launched herself off of Ichigo and rolled as far away from him as was possible on the large bed. Almost like a little mole, she ripped the covers away from the mattress and dove as deeply under of them as she could. With one final flick, her entire, naked body was huddled underneath the down comforter, and curled into a secure and immovable ball.
Ichigo was still lying on his side of the bed—completely naked and semi-erect—before he realized that his fiancée was no longer on top of him and doing such wondrous things to his body. Even after that he still had to blink his eyes twice and wait another minute before he was able to realize where the hell she had gone.
"Rukia?" He said. He wasn't exactly sure of which tone he should use. Angry? Frustrated? Confused? He cocked his head to the side and wondered what, in fact, the proper tone to use when one's fiancée decided to play hide-and-go-seek in the middle of foreplay.
Instead of dwelling on it too long, he moved towards the head of the bed and began tugging at the comforter. "Rukia, what the fuck are you—"
"Stop it right there Ichigo Kurosaki!"
His hands froze on the cover and he frowned. Her voice had almost sounded crass. Wrinkling his nose, he began to pull at the covers once again. However, instead of immediately uncovering his bride-to-be, she had the audacity to wiggle even further away from him.
Grunting in frustration, he began to pull harder, until one ankle was uncovered. "Rukia! What's gotten into you?" His hands grasped the tiny ankle before she could jerk it away. "Please don't tell me you've suddenly decided to become a prude." He tugged hard but, apparently, she was digging her nails into the base end of the mattress.
"Let go Ichigo!" She demanded, wriggling her ankle like a fish just to get out of his grasp.
"Rukia! What the—"
Suddenly, her foot lashed out and caught him in the side. He yelped in pain and fell backwards. Anger clouded his forehead and he snarled ruthlessly. Furiously, he rubbed his aching side and declared: "I will drag you out of there this second if you do not—"
"Look at the time dumbass!" She yelled, scuttling further inside of the blankets.
Frowning even more—if that was even possible—Ichigo looked over at the clock that lay beside their bed. The glowing digital light blinked at him smugly, as if they knew why Rukia was now acting like some kind of demented turtle.
"So what?" He demanded. "It's only eleven fifty seven. We have at least another round to go before we actually need to sleep and—"
"Idiot!" She shouted, her head popping up inside of the comforter and moving around slightly. "We're getting married tomorrow! Everyone knows the groom's not allowed to see the bride on their wedding day! Those are the rules! We're already stretching them enough as it is!"
His jaw dropped.
"Are you fucking serious?"
"Yes! She hugged, burying even furhter into the base of the bed. "Well... I think it might have been the day before the wedding but still..." she paused for a moment before clearing her throat and sighing. "Now that we have that cleared up... go sleep on the couch.
Ichigo shook his head and let his hand hang uselessly on her tiny ankle. "I…I… are you—wha—?"
"Go!" Rukia said, jerking her ankle out of her fiancé's large hand. "Momo's coming over tomorrow to take me to the church and all. She's bringing Toshiro too so they can be sure to separate us."
Ichigo sent an incredulous look up towards the ceiling and slapped a hand to his face. "I—I can't believe that you want me to… that you want me to…"
"I don't want you to do anything," Rukia stated crisply, "I'm telling you to go to the couch and sleep. Our relationship started out as unorthodox as possible mister and I want to finish it with some sense of normalcy."
"Normalcy? Normalcy?" He sputtered, "Midget, look at us! Right now it looks like we're playing some kind of kinky hide-the-vagina sex game!"
"You are so crude!" Rukia shouted, burrowing underneath the covers even more. She huffed angrily and muttered, "And I was going to let you kiss me for the minute or two we had left but no, I bet it's already past midnight."
Ichigo turned his head to the clock and groaned. Three minutes past midnight to be precise.
"Rukia," he groaned, "Come on." He ground his teeth together and sighed. He was running out of things to say to convince her to come out from under there. After all, it wasn't like he could say 'Tomorrow's just another day' because… it wasn't.
Butterflies—yes, he was manly enough to admit it—appeared in his stomach at the very thought of it: a grand church, a softly playing band, several hundred faces all smiling at the petite beauty walking gracefully down the aisle. Tomorrow he was getting married.
Sighing with a mixture of contentedness and frustration, Ichigo flopped off of his bed and began to search the room for a pair of discarded sleeping pants. God forbid Mr. and Mrs. Toshiro Hitsugaya come in tomorrow morning and find him on the couch, sleeping in the nude.
Slipping a pair of gray sweatpants over his hips, Ichigo glanced at the little squirming mass he could make out in the darkness of the room. Grinning, he moved over and sat down heavily beside her.
"I thought I told you to—"
"Shut up," Ichigo interrupted, patting his hands along the length of her body. Finally, he found what seemed to be her head and gently wiggled it around.
"What are you—?"
"Is this your head?" He demanded quickly, knowing her ire would increase when she was interrupted.
"Yes," she growled through the heavy mass of blankets. "Now what are you going to do?"
Chucking deep in his throat, Ichigo lowered his head and gently kissed the fabric that separated them. He knew Rukia probably couldn't feel it but oddly enough, he didn't care. It was more of a gesture than anything else.
He lifted his head fractionally and swore he heard her breathing increase slightly. Grinning, he let his mouth linger a bit on the fabric and muttered, "Couldn't very well go about kissing your ass, now could I?"
"G-Go away," Rukia stuttered. Ichigo grinned, fully aware that her will was slowly deteriorating. Although, since he was the gentleman he actually was going to sleep on the couch tonight. If only so that Rukia could have the perfect wedding.
"Fine, fine, fine…" he sighed exaggeratedly, standing and stretching slowly. He tread softly into the hallway but paused once more to look at the mass of fluff-covered-flesh that rested on his bed. Shaking his head he muttering playfully, "I swear, the things I do for you midget…"
He heard Rukia scoff lightly, "When compared with taking down a multi-billion dollar head of a company and using journalistic means to embarrass yourself publicly, sleeping on the couch seems like a small thing."
"At least I still had a comforter on the bed," he pointed out. He tried to keep his voice hostile but couldn't help the small edge of happiness he felt creeping inside.
"Goodnight Ichigo," she called, her voice still muffled.
"Goodnight Rukia," he grunted, the anger that he felt at the beginning of their conversation beginning to creep back into his mind. He closed the door to the bedroom—as if to signify that he was indeed, leaving—and made his way into the living room.
She did have a point though with the whole taking down-of-the-moguls stuff. Come to think of it, Ichigo had probably done more for Rukia than any other man most likely ever did for the woman he loved. Outside of royalty that is. Not that he was complaining either. He'd gladly do the whole thing over again if it meant getting back into Rukia's good graces.
Ichigo allowed his feet to wander around the kitchen for a moment before stopping at the sink. He filled a glass of water and smiled smugly before drinking it.
He'd never forget the look on Sosuke Aizen's face when Renji and several members of the Karakura Police Force had come barging in on him. Ichigo had been with them, of course. Not to mention he had accidentally let it slip that the best time to arrest the bastard might have also accidentally happened to coincide with a major press release done concerning the takeover. He also might have accidentally paid someone to up the range on the mike so it might have accidentally picked up Renji saying: "Sosuke Aizen, you're being arrested under charges of fraud, money laundering, attempted murder, and rape. You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law. You have the right to an attorney, if—by some diluted miracle—you can't actually afford one, the court will appoint one to you. Come with me."
The look on that bastard's face was what credit card companies would have called "priceless." Ichigo sighed happily in remembrance as he set his glass of water down gently on the counter. Of course, the best part about the entire arrest was the fact that Ichigo was standing directly in his line of sight. He had rigidly stood, with a victorious smirk on his face, watching as Sosuke Aizen was manhandled from his chair, cuffed, and pushed towards the exit.
On his way out—in the midst of thousands of camera flashes, shouted questions, and shoved quotation microphones—his head had whipped around the entire room, almost as if he were actually searching for someone.
Ichigo knew that he was that particular someone.
When their eyes locked, Ichigo saw something he hadn't quite expected to see in Aizen's blazing brown eyes. Along with the mix of horror, disgust, and disbelief and his sudden loss of power, Ichigo could have sworn that he had seen the tiniest might of respect. As if he was actually acknowledging the fact that Ichigo had beaten him, that he had figured it out and that he had actually gone through with it until the end.
While Renji had practically dragged him towards the exit, not once did that bastard's eyes leave Ichigo's. Ichigo even thought that Aizen might have been having some sort of breakdown. His eyes—still staring into his—slowly became wider and wider, his mouth became slacker and slacker, and… and… well, he looked like he was going mad. Ichigo shuddered at the thought. Aizen was crazy enough as it is; add in a healthy dose of psychosis and that was a recipe for even greater disaster.
Gin—who already looked as demented as demented could get—hadn't become as crazy-eyed as Aizen had though. If anything his smile had just gotten wider and wider and wider as two of Renji's associates led him away.
Ichigo let out a large sigh and fumbled his way towards the couch, grabbing a spare blanket along the way.
At least it's over, he thought. The trail will start soon and they'll sure as hell be convicted in the blink of a frigging eye. He sighed and flopped down onto the couch, pulling the heavy quilt up towards his chest.
The day before the most important day of my life and I have to be the one sleeping on the couch, he thought begrudgingly, wiggling into the suave sofa Rukia had forced him to keep. He had liked his navy set better than her crème set but Rukia—being Rukia—had kicked him in the shins and forced him to agree.
Although, if he had to be painfully honest, he'd have to say that he enjoyed most of the stuff that Rukia had brought with her from her apartment. Some of the wall paintings, the decorative ceramic vases, and even some furniture sets did very nicely in his—our—apartment.
But it wasn't her stuff that he loved having here the most. It was her. It was just… knowing that he would wake up with her beside him every single day, seeing her rummaging through their drawers to find whatever she needed—especially when she was looking for fresh undergarments to replace the ones he had ripped off—giving her cooking lessons so they wouldn't have to call the fire department as often as they already did; all those little things just made his heart beat faster in his chest and made his breath flow quicker through his lungs.
I am so whipped, he thought placidly—not even perturbed by the thought anymore. Ichigo shifted around a bit on the couch and a small smile came onto his face as he chuckled lightly. But at least tomorrow I'll be legally recognized as whipped.
Rukia sat quietly in the small dressing room of the church annex. Outside, she could hear the milling feet of at least two hundred guests. The tornado of butterflies in her stomach became a hurricane as the thought of walking down that long, long, long aisle in front of those people surfaced in her mind.
Both she and Ichigo had originally wanted a small wedding, but Byakuya Kuchiki—being Byakuya Kuchiki—would have absolutely none of that. He had insisted that at least one hundred or so members of the Kuchiki family be invited. And those were only the most influential ones. So the invitations had been sent while she and Ichigo muttered and groaned over to the side. Secretly though, Rukia thought that he had wanted to rub the fact that his younger sister was finally getting married to someone of her own choosing into the Clan's brown-nosing faces.
Secretly, Rukia wanted to rub it in as well.
Her fingers toyed anxiously with the lace of her small bodice and her feet tapped mercilessly against the ground in her white heels. Hisana's glimmering pearl earrings hung from her small lobes while a matching strand of them wrapped around her neck. She glanced nervously at the clock and fought to keep the thudding in her heart down a bit. Five more minutes. Just five… only five and she'd be… she'd be…
Quickly, Rukia stood up, simply unwilling to sit still anymore. Her tiny feet began their hurried whirls as she moved back and forth and back and forth across the ancient preparation room. Every now and again, she would look up at the clock, her eyes nervously darting from one hand to the next in giddy anticipation. However, each time she glanced, the damn hands never seemed to go anywhere.
The small V of her waistline twisted as she turned. The intricate pearl beading of her bodice glittered in the sunlight streaming through the small window. The small pearls clinked against each other as she swirled, making delicate noises that tickled her ear. The beautiful, waterfall, French silk of her skirt flowed around her legs and swished gently as she moved. Her chest heaved and her fingers came up to twist in front of her heaving chest. The fingers on her right hand immediately moved to the third on her left. She found that after only a few days of having this beautiful ring it was already becoming a habit of hers to twist it around her finger.
The next two minutes consisted of her legs tirelessly carrying her from one side of the room to the next. All the while the butterflies in her stomach were slowly transforming into insect hellions.
I'm getting married. She thought, her mind racing wildly, I'm getting married I'm getting married I'm getting married!
She paused and sucked in a breath bigger than any she had taken today—and that was saying a lot.
I'm getting married to Ichigo.
An instant grin broke onto her face and she began to giggle helplessly.
Suddenly, the door behind her burst opened and Momo bustled inside, the deep burgundy of her dress sweeping harmlessly against the spotless floor. Rukia swirled around and fought to keep her grin from expanding even more. She didn't want to look like some sort of demented clown-bride.
"Rukia!" Momo gasped, her hands flying to her mouth—well, one hand at least, the other was clutching a bouquet of white and red roses—and she squealed happily. "You look so gorgeous! I mean, I knew that dress was for you the moment we saw it but God, with your makeup and your hair all done up! You look like a snow princess!"
Rukia twirled once for emphasis and then returned her gaze to Momo's. "You don't look too bad yourself," she said, "Especially in that color. See? I told you that particular red would look fantastic on you." She walked forward and extended her small pointer finger towards Momo's slightly distended stomach. Her friend gasped and flushed a red deep enough to match the color of her dress. "Not to mention it's doing a fairly good job at hiding—"
"Rukia!" She wretched Rukia's hands into hers and tugged her forward. Her head darted from side to side frantically to check if anyone else was listening. "You know that no one knows about Shiro junior yet and you promised that you'd—"
Rukia raised an eyebrow. "Shiro junior?"
Momo simply shrugged, "I just think it's going to be a boy."
"But naming him after your own husband?" Rukia jostled. She shook her head and wiggled about a bit in her dress. "Never mind." She glanced over at the clock resting above the doorway and felt another enormous grin. "Three more minutes." She whispered, a small growl of frustration punctuating her sentence. "I swear to God that clock defective."
Momo's knowing grin and raised eyebrows were turned towards Rukia. Simultaneously, the two of them jiggled from one foot to the other and began squealing.
"Wait!" She gasped suddenly, "Where's Byakuya? Is he—?"
"I'm right here."
Rukia squeaked lightly and twisted towards the door.
There stood Byakuya Kuchiki, Rukia's older brother. He was dressed handsomely in a black tuxedo, pearl cufflinks that matched Rukia's jewelry, and a silk bowtie that probably cost as much as a small house. He was standing straight and tall and even had something akin to a smile on his face. Or maybe it was just the way the sun was angling the shadows onto his face. He seemed… proud. Not proud in the sense of his own pride, but proud of her.
He cleared his throat and nodded his head once, "You look fine."
Knowing that 'fine' was probably the most she was ever going to get from him, Rukia smiled warmly and nodded. "Thank you, Brother."
He came forward and straightened his already impeccable tie. His eyes darted quickly to the mirror and then back to his sister. His eyes were hard but warm as he stared down at her.
"If you don't want to go through with this," he told her tonelessly—like always, "I can make him leave and we will never speak of this again."
To her side, Momo had to put a hand up to her mouth in an attempt to smother a fit of instantaneous giggles. Rukia had to fight not to dramatically roll her eyes.
"Thank you Brother," she said as calmly as she could. "But I have made my decision. I want to marry him." I need to marry him.
Byakuya cleared his throat and nodded once. "Very well." The pause was lengthy and terse. "So be it."
"Thank you Brother," Rukia said softly, "And thank you for… for agreeing to this union."
Byakuya snorted softly and shook his head. "You would have married him with or without my permission." He sighed and walked back to stand in front of her. "But I am glad the boy had spine enough to ask me himself."
"Yes…" she sighed, fondly remembering the day where Ichigo barged into a board of directors meeting and demanded Byakuya's blessing to marry Rukia. Needless to say Byakuya hadn't been too enthused but after Rukia's rather dramatic—aka, threatening—'agree or we'll do it anyway' phone call it wasn't really in his power to refuse.
"Very well," he said before glancing at the clock and raising an eyebrow. "Are you ready?"
Rukia's grin widened and her heart fluttered rapidly in her chest. "I've been ready for six months."
An 'awww' came from Momo's mouth and she jumped from one foot from the other in quick, excited, succession. Rukia gave her one raised eyebrow and, with a quick nod, she grabbed her bouquet of red roses and exited the preparation room.
Outside, the bellowing tones of the massive organ echoed through the stone halls of the church.
Rukia felt like fainting from happiness.
Byakuya cleared his throat and held out his arm. Rukia grappled for it like she was a drowning woman searching for a life preserver.
The door to the preparation room was pushed open and the two of them slowly moved outside. Byakuya's efficient shoes squeaked on the old stone and Rukia's heels clicked. The church was old… very old… and in the center of Karakura too. The minute Byakuya had given his permission for Ichigo and Rukia to marry he called and reserved this church at the earliest possible date. Ichigo had thought it was annoying but Rukia knew the significance of this place.
Byakuya married Hisana in this very church.
The gray stones seemed to vibrate with warmth as they took step after step, Rukia's hand inside the crook of Byakuya's elbow, walking towards a gate blinded with glowing lights.
The tones to 'Here Comes the Bride' began. Slowly, Rukia and Byakuya stepped out into the bright doorway.
The giant hallway was decorated on every surface with white and red roses—tastefully decorated by some royal florist Byakuya had employed—silk banners decorated the pews and beautifully garnished fabrics clung to the walls of the church. It looked like a scene from a majestic fairytale.
The church itself was filled to the brim. The bride's side of the large church was overflowing with at least a hundred members of the Kuchiki Family. Byakuya sent out over two hundred invitations knowing only some would show up. Well that some ended up being one hundred and forty three. She hadn't actually thought that many would come but come they did. Many of the members of her "family" were actually seated on the groom's side because they were so numerous.
In the front of the groom's side sat Isshin Kurosaki. He—along with Yuzu—was already bawling his eyes out over the fact that his son was actually getting married to someone he didn't deserve. Karin was sitting next to them with her arms, legs, and eyebrows crossed in annoyance. Rukia could plainly see the let's just get this over with expression screwed onto her face.
Her eyes darted to those standing in the front of the room and she smiled softly at the sight of Momo Hitsugaya standing proudly near the altar. Rukia had decided against bridesmaids, instead only choosing Momo to be her matron of honor. Shifting her gaze to the other side, she gave a small nod to each of her fiancé's groomsmen. Ichigo had a few of his friends beside him as well as Uryu Ishida from the company acting as his best man.
This was indeed a fairytale.
But what made it truly perfect was the prince standing in the very center of the building.
Rukia's breath caught in her throat and she froze in her place. Her eyes fixed on him… on just him. Everyone else in the entire room disappeared but them.
His entire body was encased in a dark, midnight suit and a single white rose was pressing out of the suit pocket. A black bow was tied securely around his neck and his shining shoes gleamed in the dark. His messy orange hair was planted on top of his head like a flame on top of a candle. Best of all though, best of all was the way his amazed eyes stared directly into hers, how his slightly open jaw was just for her, and how she could practically hear his heartbeat from across the room.
The music continued and a sharp tug from Byakuya wretched her forward—so much so that she almost tripped on her own feet. The music began in earnest as the two of them began deliberately walking towards the front.
Every eye in the place was on her and Byakuya but Rukia could care less. Her eyes were locked on his. Every part of her was so attuned to him that she could swear she could see every twitch of his eyelashes. Rukia honestly felt like she was walking on clouds towards some kind of angel.
The minute Rukia raised her leg up to step onto the small podium—studiously ignoring the heavy sigh from Momo and more wailing tears from the Kurosaki broad—she felt like she was no longer controlling her own movements. It was something else… something magnetic, something fantastic, pulling her towards him.
The moment she was two steps away from him she saw his open-mouthed, wide-eyed, stare become shaken from his face. His mouth curled into a smile so true she felt her entire body melt into shivers, tremors, and tingles. She didn't even look at Byakuya as she pulled her arm away from him and reached out to Ichigo. He nodded his head and took his place in the front row, right next to Mr. Ukitake, who had been invited after he spent a good three hours pleading for Rukia to forgive him and to come back to work as a head of legal at the newly formed Gotei-Suigetsu Incorporated. Rukia had forgiven him, of course, and had almost turned him down until Ichigo had reminded her that he would also be head of legal. And hell, Rukia just couldn't turn down the prospect of more desk sex.
Rukia wasn't thinking about that though. Not now. Now as her fingers linked with his and his twirled around in hers. Their eyes were completely connected. Their smiles were for each other. Their hearts beat purposefully and at the same time. They even seemed to breathe in unison.
A light breeze whistled through the church and the beautiful scent of wild roses swirled around the building.
"Yo," Ichigo whispered.
"Hi," she murmured.
The wizened priest who stood before them smiled, his hands clasped tightly over the archaic book he clutched to his chest. In a voice as strong and as clear as a bell, he began to speak.
The ceremony was a blur. All of the biblical lines, the everlasting love mumbo-jumbo, and the heavy sighs from those congregated before them were completely lost on Ichigo Kurosaki and Rukia Kuchiki. Nothing truly seemed to matter until the priest began to speak the words they had been waiting three whole months to hear.
"Do you, Ichigo Kurosaki, take this woman, Rukia Kuchiki, to be your lawfully wedded wife? To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to obey; from this day forward until death do you part?"
Ichigo's eyes never left hers during the entire recitation. His warm, honey-amber eyes were swallowing her up; tossing her to and fro in an unending circle of absolute love and adoration. The entire church waited with baited breath as a slow smile slid over Ichigo's face. His fingers tightened around hers and he said, "I do."
Ichigo's beautiful eyes stared into hers as he slid the ring onto her gleaming skin. It looked so right there. So perfect.
It was so perfect it almost made her feel slightly guilty about what she was going to do.
The priest cleared his throat and began again. This time, his gaze was trained on Rukia.
"Do you Rukia—"
Rukia slid her hand from Ichigo's and held it up in front of the priest. He stopped abruptly and all at once, the entire congregation seemed to feel it was their duty to suck all of the air out of the beautifully decorated church.
"Sorry," Rukia muttered, flashing a quickly sheepish look over at her half-husband.
"What are you—?"
"Just a sec," she said and swiftly reached down into the bodice of her dress and pulled out a small piece of paper. She flicked it open with two of her fingers and gently shoved it underneath the priests' nose.
Beside her, she heard Momo let out a small groan. Rukia shot her a swift glare only to find her best friend's shaking head hidden in her bouquet of white and red roses.
She turned her small nose up at Momo and gracefully twisted back to the priest, "Now you may proceed," she said lightly, after which she straightened and finally brought her front to face Ichigo's. His expression was a myriad of confusion, skepticism, and slight apprehension.
Rukia flashed him a brilliant smile and that look only seemed to become worse. In a voice as low as he could make it, he leaned forward slightly and whispered, "What are you up to, midget?"
She fought the urge to kick him and instead allowed her happy grin to become a bit more sadistic than she had first intended.
The priest's eyes scanned over the paper and he coughed lightly in his throat. After a moment more—during which Rukia glared at him relentlessly—he turned to the small woman before him and began again.
"Do you, Rukia Kuchiki, take this man, Ichigo Kurosaki, to be your lawfully wedded husband? To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to…"
He paused momentarily and Rukia turned back smugly to Ichigo. Their entire audience stopped moving as one. Even Isshin and Yuzu—who had been practically sobbing nonstop since the beginning of Here Comes the Bride—ceased their tears long enough to listen attentively to the priest.
Ichigo's eyes were pinned on Rukia's and Rukia's were pinned on his as the man finished.
"To love and to occasionally obey; from this day forward until death do you part?"
The grin Rukia had been trying to hold in slipped out and she couldn't help but let out a small, triumphant giggle. Beside her, Momo groaned and shoved her face even further into her flowers. Only a few steps away from Ichigo, his best man placed his hands over his mouth so the entire congregation would not hear his slight snigger. In the front row of the grooms' side, Isshin whooped and Karin chuckled mercilessly.
When Rukia looked into Ichigo's eyes again his face was a blaze of disbelief.
Rukia tossed her head back and opened her mouth to speak, "I—"
"You cannot do that," Ichigo interrupted immediately.
The congregation, once again, sucked every particle of oxygen out of the building.
Rukia raised one expert eyebrow and narrowed her eyes gently, "And why not?" Her voice was low but she was quite certain that everyone in attendance heard it. Her eyes darted towards the 'bride' side of the church and instantly saw at least seventy five heads bent in abject shame. Yet when she quirked her gaze over toward her brother, she saw that his lips were curled into a ghost of a smile.
"Because you can't!" Ichigo exclaimed, his voice loud enough that it echoed slightly off the walls.
Momo groaned, "Here we go again."
His hands tightened around hers and his scowl reemerged on his face. "If I have to say that I'll love and obey you for the rest of the time that we're married then you have to say it too!"
"I do not," Rukia pointed out, nodding towards the rather uncomfortable looking priest. "We never said that we couldn't write—or in my case—improvise our wedding vows. You simply didn't see all the possibilities."
Ichigo's jaw dropped and Rukia could have sworn that she heard Karin say something along the lines of "you go girl" only to be silenced by a frantic Yuzu.
"Besides," she shrugged, "It's not like anyone actually pays attention to the vows anyway."
"Then why are you changing them?" Ichigo demanded, dropping both of her hands and crossing his arms defensively over his chest.
Rukia raised her arms and crossed them as well, careful not to damage any of the pearls on her delicate bodice. "I'm changing them," she huffed, "Because I know that someday down the road you're going to end up pulling a 'well you promised to obey me for the rest of our lives so do it now' as a reason for me not to do something! I'm not going to put up with that!"
"Oh, and you wouldn't pull that exact same sh—"
Uryu violently cleared his throat to drone out the rest of Ichigo's statement.
The priest rubbed the back of his neck and sighed, "There goes my morning."
Ichigo pointed a rough finger at Rukia and snarled, "You are infuriating."
"You're just angry you didn't think of it," she hissed, turning her nose up at him angrily.
"Please," Ichigo grunted, "I'm not the one violating the sanctity of marriage here."
"I'm not violating it!" Rukia growled, "I'm merely improving it!"
Both of Ichigo's hands went into the air and he shook his head, "You're impossible! I don't even know why I'm marrying you!"
A collective gasp rang around the church, pierced only by the shriek of "NO!" by Isshin and Yuzu Kurosaki.
Rukia wasn't fazed; she narrowed her eyes and snarled, "Well then maybe you shouldn't!"
"Maybe I shouldn't!" He emphasized, taking one step away from her and growling angrily.
"After all," Rukia continued, her voice rising and bouncing off the walls of the church, "Who'd want to get married to a sloppy, stubborn, inconsiderate, orange-headed buffoon like you?"
The groom side began to chortle relentlessly.
"Who'd want to get married to an anal retentive midget she-devil like you?"
The bride side began to buzz like an angry swarm of bees.
"I don't know!" Rukia yelled, her delicately encased foot finding the stone floor with a loud thump. "Maybe someone like you?"
"Well yeah!" He shouted his face becoming redder and redder by the moment. His eyes were a blazing shade of amber and his mouth as set in a firmly straight line. He strode forward until his fulminating face was only a few centimeters away from her furious expression. "But only until you admit that you want to marry me too!"
"Fine!" She shouted, bringing her hand up and poking him several times in the chest, "Maybe I do want to marry you!"
"Good! Maybe I want to marry you too!"
She narrowed her eyes and suddenly found her gaze inexorably drawn to his mouth. That taunting, beautiful, talented mouth. "I hate you, infuriating fruit-headed mongrel!" She said in a voice far more strangled than she had intended it to be.
For some reason, Ichigo looked just as flustered as she. His fingers were constantly flexing in their iron-bound fists and his eyes were hungrily staring at all of the heaving, creamy white skin she'd exposed for today—aka her breasts. "I hate you more, midget ice princess," he said in a tone that pretty much matched hers.
Momo raised her head and gaped at the two of them. Rukia knew that her friend could recognize that they had gone from furiously angry to demandingly sexual in less than two seconds flat. On the other side of the aisle, Uryu sighed and shook his head, noticing the abrupt transformation as well.
Suddenly, Ichigo flung his body to the side and glared at the terrified priest in front of them. "Yes! Okay, my answer is yes! I will love and occasionally make her obey me! Fine! Now can you just get on with the man and wife stuff? We have things to do!"
More like people to do, they thought together.
The priest's jaw dropped and he looked disbelievingly between the two people standing in front of him. Both of their arms were crossed and they were glaring at him impatiently. A few seconds later they simultaneously started to tap their feet.
He jerked slightly and—jaw still open—began to fumble with his bible.
Rukia rolled her eyes, "Please don't tell me you've forgotten what to say next."
"He probably has," Ichigo muttered, rolling his eyes angrily, "It's 'I now pronounce you man and wife.' Please hurry."
Rukia's glare stopped his stuttering in its tracks. "I now pronounce… you man and… and… wife."
"Thank god!" Ichigo cried.
Instantly, his hands were grasping at her blushing cheeks and hers were grappling for the back of his head. He bent down and she surged upwards. As soon as their lips touched the entire church burst out into applause. Isshin Kurosaki jumped up in is pew and began stomping up and down.
Rukia knew that that they probably shouldn't be full-on making out in front of her entire uptight family or Ichigo's all too enthusiastic one but honestly, she couldn't help herself.
Wrenching her mouth away from his she beamed up into his sparkling eyes. "We did it," she whispered, leaning her forehead against his.
He grinned down at her and decided to ignore the priest when the man muttered something along the lines of "But I didn't even get to say 'I now pronounce you man and wife, you may now kiss the bride. Psh… kids…'"
"Yeah," he brushed his lips against hers and suddenly, all that seemed to exist was the two of them. They were a small island in a roiling sea of people. "What do you say," he whispered, his hot breath catching her ear and sending shivers down her spine. "That we skip the reception and get a few hours of alone time before our flight leaves?"
"I think," she said, leaning as much against him as she could, "That that is a wonderful idea, Mr. Kurosaki."
"I'm glad you think so too, Mrs. Kurosaki," he chuckled, emphasizing the name she had been fantasizing about for the past few months.
Rukia laughed and kissed him once again; this time putting every ounce of happiness and joy she felt inside of her heart into her kiss. Ichigo grinned into her lips and suddenly swooped down. With their mouths still connected—and with Rukia squealing in surprise—Ichigo Kurosaki picked up his newly pronounced wife. Her arms went around his neck as though they belonged nowhere else and suddenly, the din in the room seemed to double.
Simultaneously, they broke the kiss, grinned and began to laugh. Then, with hasty and purposeful steps, Ichigo Kurosaki carried Rukia Kurosaki out the front doors of the church and into the gleaming sunlight.
(A/N: It's… over.
It's actually… over.
I think I'm going to cry.
First off, I'd like to say: PLEASE DON'T FORGET TO REVIEW!
Secondly: I can't believe that this is over. I really can't. It's been almost a year since this story first started in my head.
Thirdly: Thank you all so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you… believe me when I say that this fic might not have been finished without your support. It's almost surreal. I don't think there would be a number high enough to count the amount of 'thank you's' that I want to give every single person who read this story—be they reviewers or not. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I will not start crying. .
Okay, now onto the hard part.
This is also the last fic of extremely large length I think I'll be writing. I want to take time off to work on some original fictions—with the hope of being published one day, of course. I've already got a Freitag's pyramid and character sketches so I think it'll go really well.
I plan to continue with my series of one-shots, Safe Sex, and maybe write a few quick one-shots here and there, you know, whenever inspiration strikes. However, I don't really plan anything else that's Odalisque or Murder My Heart length.
But plans change so you never know. I have a few unformed ideas that have been spinning in my head.
So, once again, thank you to everyone who has even glanced at this story. This story is for you guys, the readers.
With the utmost sincerity,