A/N: Um, so I realized that this is really overdue, since it's almost been an ENTIRE YEAR since I updated. So I'm sorry for the very very overdue update, but a lot of shits been happening and blah blah (insert lame excuses) so that's why I couldn't update (awkward laugh). Okay, on to the story I guess.

Death and the Savior: Chapter 3- Rukia's Past

Rukia's eyes blinked open in confusion. 'Where am I?' She wondered as she stared up at a white ceiling. She heard a beeping noise and her head turned to the right. Her eyes took in the sight of a monitor. While her eyes widened in surprise, she noted that she was in the hospital.

Then she looked to her left and saw a slumped over orange haired man sleeping in the obligatory chair that was given to each room. She smiled in disbelief at the image, not expecting to find anyone with her. Abruptly she remembered that she had been eating ice cream and had suddenly collapsed. Whether it was due to her cancer or to exhaustion, she did not know.

Ichigo stirred in his sleep, as if he had noticed her staring. His eyes opened and brown eyes met her purple ones. "Thank you." Rukia whispered to him, somehow knowing that he had been the one to take her back to the hospital.

There was a peaceful silence as she allowed him to have to take in the fact that she did just thank him.

"No problem, idiot." Ichigo stated unaware of the rarity of being thanked by Rukia.

Her lips upturned into a smile as she told him that he could go home if he wanted to. In which he responded that he wanted to make sure his idiot of a friend is going to be alright.

"This idiot friend would kick your ass if she wasn't supposed to be in bed." Rukia bantered in 3rd person.

"Yah, yah." Ichigo muttered as he got up from his seat, while rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.

Rukia watched him with some concern. "Are you okay?"

Ichigo looked up in surprise and replied, "Why wouldn't I be?"

"Idiot, you didn't answer my question." Rukia said in response.

"Well, you didn't answer mine!" Ichigo retorted.

"I asked you first!" Rukia exclaimed.

"You're such a child." Ichigo said, though not in a condescending way.

"Hey! You still didn't answer my question!" Rukia repeated.

'Damn, my plan worked until now.' Ichigo thought to himself. "I'm fine." Ichigo said in a neutral tone, hoping she wouldn't push it.

"No, you're not." Rukia answered in reply. "I can tell that you're upset about something."

Ichigo looked at her in disbelief. 'Just who is this girl?' Ichigo thought to himself as he contemplated telling her or not. He sighed and thought that she would only keep irritating him until he told her.

"It's just that… my mom died of cancer when I was young and I was afraid that I was going to lose someone else to cancer." Ichigo sighed once again. He found himself standing by the window, unable to look at Rukia for fear of only finding pity in her eyes.

Only silence met his ears instead of comforting words. He turned around to find her staring at him, only not with pity, but with an understanding gaze.

"Ah, I see. I did not realize that had happened. No need to worry about me though, Ichigo! I'm strong and I'm able to beat this monster!" She smiled –a fake smile- at him. She decided she didn't want anyone else getting close to her because she knew the outcome already.

Ichigo stared at her. 'Is she really going to be alright?' He wondered, sighing slightly to himself. "Well I believe you! You better not die midget!" Ichigo declared, trying to make the mood lighter.

"Of course not, fool! I'm the great Kuchiki-sama!" Rukia played along, trying to get back into a laughing spirit.

Ichigo only smiled at that. He was quiet for a moment and his mood turned somber again. Rukia noticed the change in his mood and had a glint of concern in her eye. She peered at him curiously and was about to speak when Ichigo suddenly asked, "Have you ever lost someone close to you, Rukia?"

Rukia was taken aback by the question, but answered honestly by saying, "Yes."

Ichigo wasn't expecting her to answer, as he was just throwing out a rhetorical question before resuming his pitiful mood as he was thrown back into memories of the past.

He just stared at her as she continued explaining whom she had lost. "I lost my older sister, Hisana to cancer as well."

Ichigo continued to stare at her as he recalled some of his classmates whispering about how the Kuchiki enterprises had been dealt a big blow with the death of the wife of that Byakuya guy.

"That's why Nii-sama is so cold and distant, because I remind him of my late sister. He wasn't always like that. Before my sister passed away… he was kind and thoughtful. But with my sisters passing, that part of him passed on as well."

Ichigo only watched as Rukia stared into empty space as she revealed her past to him. He couldn't bring himself to stop her. Besides, he wanted to know more about his friend.

Rukia started by saying, "My sister died when I was 10. She was only 24 when she died…" Rukia looked teary eyed. Ichigo walked over to Rukia's "bed" and sat down on the edge, watching her intently. Rukia, however, paid him no mind and continued with her story. She'd be damned if she cried in front of Ichigo.

"I wasn't able to get to know my sister well… but I do know that she was truly a wonderful person. She was kind, smart, funny; everything everyone wanted to be. She shone brightly by herself, but she shone even brighter when she was with Nii-sama. It was truly something to see them together." Rukia whispered the last part, as if silently saying, 'I would want something like that'.

"Nii-sama changed when my sister died. He loved her the most and in turn was hurt the most. I always tried my hardest to get him to notice me as myself and not my sister… but it never worked. He only saw my sister." Rukia sighed and pursued her story.

"There was a time when he used to read me bed time stories and tuck me in. We used to go to the park a lot because it was my favorite place. He would push me on the swings and for a moment I felt like I was flying." Rukia smiled slightly with a glimmer of happiness in her eyes.

"We used to get strawberry ice cream at a parlor near the beach whenever we went. We would build sand castles and jump in the water. We were a family." Now Rukia's eyes held a wave of sadness that threatened to burst at any moment.

Ichigo was stunned by her story because he couldn't imagine the cold-hearted, distant bastard Byakuya could be so… decent.

Rukia was about to speak again, but a voice shouted, "Oi, Rukia! Are you okay?! I heard you fainted!" just before someone burst through the door.

Rukia and Ichigo were both startled out of their minds and turned to look at the newcomer.

Rukia recognized the red head and instantly had a smile on her face. "Renji!" Rukia cried happily.

"Rukia, are you-" Renji started to say before he stopped speaking. "Who's he?" Renji asked, tipping his head, indicating Ichigo. Rukia glanced at Ichigo and then back to Renji and stated simply, "He's Kurosaki Ichigo."

Ichigo noticed the mood of the redhead and sensed that he should leave. He stood up and eyed the red head. "Aa, as the midget said I'm Kurosaki Ichigo. Who are you?" Ichigo said trying to sound tough. A red tick mark appeared on Rukia's forehead as she said, "Who you calling a midget, Strawberry?!"

But, neither of the two responded as they were too busy eying each other up and down, trying to see who was better. Renji snorted and said, "I'm Abarai Renji. Now, why are you here?"

Ichigo sensed that Renji was being rather protective of the midget. He glanced at Rukia and noticed that she was staring at the pair. 'No doubt wondering if we were going to get along,' Ichigo thought to himself.

"I'm here cuz Rukia was with me when she fainted so I was concerned." Ichigo said simply as he returned his gaze to stare at Renji.

"Ah, well thank you for being here with her." Renji replied gruffly, thankful that someone was there for her, even if he was a total stranger.

"It was no problem." Ichigo responded with.

Ichigo looked at his watch and his eyes nearly bugged out of their sockets. "Crap!" Ichigo nearly shouted. "I gotta go or the old man's gonna have my head!"

He looked the two of them, as Renji had made his way over to Rukia's bed side in two strides. Renji was looking at Rukia in concern and Rukia was looking at Ichigo.

"Oi, midget, I'll visit you tomorrow, okay? I gotta go." Ichigo hurriedly said as he turned to look at Renji.

"Yo, take care of her." Ichigo had only met Renji, but it seemed like they were close so he knew that Renji could do as he asked. Renji only said, "Aa" in response, meaning that he would. With that, Ichigo practically ran out of the room and the hospital, trying to make it home before dinner time.

As Ichigo ran home, Renji and Rukia were having a discussion.

"Rukia, are you alright?" a very concerned Renji asked. Rukia tore her eyes away from the door where Ichigo had exited and rested her eyes on Renji's face. "You fool, of course I'm alright!" Rukia said with a laugh. Her laugh made Renji's tense face relax. 'Thank goodness…' Renji thought to himself as he smiled while she laughed. However, he then remembered something that Rukia had told him earlier.

"Ne, Rukia, I thought you said you didn't want any more relationships with people." Renji inquired.

"Aa…" was Rukia's only response on the topic. Renji noticed her mood, and decided to not pry as he talked about his week and asked about what she did. It was normal, yet why did it feel like she was missing something?

A/N: Um… sorry if they sounded OOC... It's just that I haven't watched Bleach in a while so I kind of forget how they act and stuff. Also, sorry if it seemed rushed. I am kind of unsure as to how to continue with the story, so if you have suggestions can you please suggest them? Thank you.