I do not own Bleach or any of the characters, they are all the rightful property of Kubo-sensei-I am just renting.

Byakuya was standing on his terrace looking out at the spring blossoms and thinking. He did this a lot. Though only when he was sure no one could see him. On the outside Byakuya appeared stoic and a man of few words. If only they knew.

In fact had the worst temper in all of soul society, the calm exterior shielded such a storm, so much passion, if anyone knew what lurked just beneath the surface of his blue-grey eyes no one would so much as utter the words "hair noodles" ever again. Well, maybe Yourichi, but it was her favourite pass-time to annoy him so perhaps it was too much to hope that she would abandon one of her favourite tortures.

Byakuya was thinking. And he was thinking of Hisana. His late wife had loved the small pink flowers. Before they were married and before she became too weak to go out, she had walked under the trees, face upturned, waiting for blossoms to tumble down. Petals for her cheeks.

It could have been yesterday that he had seen her underneath those trees for the first time.


He chuckled as he remembered her jumping and blushing as she bowed.

"I'm sorry!"


He had smiled lightly.

"I shouldn't be here. I should be inside working."
he asked again, "It's beautiful, you should enjoy it while you can."


For a second she had looked surprised but then her doll's face took on the most radiant smile he had ever seen. He was embarrassed to feel his neck and cheeks flush, her cheeks likewise had a pearly pink glow, her lips curved very softly. Beautiful. Her blue-black hair was stark contrast with all the blossoms. One landed in her hair and without thinking he reached out and pulled it from her inky black tresses. Proffering it to her he couldn't ignore the feeling that still lingered on his finger tips, soft and surprisingly warm. She had reached out slowly and taken it, her fingers trailing across his palm, Byakuya had swallowed hard and, before she could pull away, had closed his hand around hers.

She jumped then and pulled her hand back to her, holding it. Her head was bowed, that one dark bang getting in the way of her face. He couldn't see her expression.

"Please excuse me Byakuya-sama."

She had dipped a swift curtsie and run back toward the house, the hem of her yukata flapping around her heels.

"Enjoy it while you can."

That was what he had said.

While you can.

A gust of wind blew through the garden and picked up the fallen cherry blossoms from the ground around the tree. It swirled them into the air in beautiful, sweeping patterns.


A cup was set quietly by his elbow.

He turned to see Rukia, blue eyes downward just like her sister's at that time. Byakuya felt a tiny twinge of regret as he thought what this meant but swallowed it quickly. Rukia looked out at the blossoms.

"Beautiful aren't they." He said softly.

She jumped.

"Y-yes Nii-sama."

Byakuya hid the shudder that coursed through him. Glancing to his side he saw that Rukia wanted something, she had the look on her face she wore when she was trying to find the conviction to voice her worst fears, or her best dreams. Finally she spoke.

"Did...did she like them?"

It was Byakuya's turn to jump. Whatever he had thought was coming, it wasn't that. He straightened up.

"Are you referring to your sister?"

Eyes downturned again, Rukia nodded.

Byakuya paused.

"She did."

Rukia let out the breath she had clearly been holding.

"Do you?" he asked quietly.

Rukia paused but then nodded the affirmative with a tiny smile playing on her lips.

He straightened up and Rukia stood to attention as he walked past her.


He turned around.

"Am I like her?"

Byakuya appraised her then took a little longer to study the look on her face. It was a strange mix; blazing fire in the ocean of her eyes. There was hope, worry, fear, excitement and still a hint of defiance. As if she was daring him to tell her she wasn't.

Byakuya hid the smile he wanted to give her.

"More than you know."

And he turned and walked away one lone cherry blossom held gently in his large hand.

A/N: Reviews are love!


Who wants to marry Byakuya right now?