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The Water Extinguishes Her Fire: Kiri and Kuro is an article created by Achrones150. Use is allowed with the permission of the owner, with the exception of collaboration-created articles.

This article, The Water Extinguishes Her Fire: Kiri and Kuro, was added by Darknesslover5000 who determines its usage on this wiki.

Life Can Be Such A Beach[]

Ahatake was laying back on the sand, listening to the sound of the waves. The city was finally repaired and he could rest. He smiled. And the best thing was, the sadness and frustration he had felt on Tereya's departure had faded. He was free.

It was a rather stereotypical setting for the beach. The skies were colored orange due to the aura of the sun that was just setting, and there were no clouds in the sky - the primary side effect of sunset domination. To the city, the atmosphere seemed to give it a more industrialized appearance, even more so now that it was fully repaired and activity was commensing as normal. Several people had even prepared for the occassion on the beach, wearing and bringing in their swimming suits, sandals, and whatever else that consisted of "beach material". Though the gathering was large, it was quite peaceful (aside from the kids' rambunctious playing in the shore waters).

Ahatake sighed. There were too many people showing up here for his taste, and they were ruining his mood. He'd just wait it out.

"Excuse me... sir?"

However, a female voice wouldn't allow him to get the silence he wanted. It cut through his thoughts, but as gently as a duck would wade through the waters he was listening. "Sorry for bothering you, but is this spot taken?" She was referring to the spot beside the Kurosaki. She wasn't in his view completely, though.

Ahatake looked up, annoyed, but his eyes widened and his annoyance faded when he saw the woman's face. She was very pretty, with ocean blue eyes and bright red hair that was braided off to the side.

"N-no it's not." He stammered over the beginning of the sentence.

"Thank you, sir..." Her tone was rather polite, and her blue eyes were glistening with nothing but a pure intention. Her own swimming suit consisted of a two-piece, both of the articles of clothing entirely white. Obviously, she wasn't shy; her figure was slender and gracefully curved. Her red hair, along with her soft-faced expression just served to magnify her beauty. She set the towel on her shoulder down beside Ahatake, before resting herself down on it.

Ahatake resumed his silence as he stared at the woman. She was very pretty, and she seemed nice. Then again, so had Tereya. He couldn't help but wonder why the girl had chosen to sit next to him.

The woman had remained silent, eyes closed, and hands behind her head. Her legs were crossed, and she seemed rather relaxed, bathing in the setting sunshine. Her red hair was scattered around her as she lay prone, content to her own thoughts.

Ahatake decided to speak. "Excuse me, but who exactly are you?"

"Hm?" The red-headed woman raised an eye to look over at him. "It's kind of impolite to ask for people's names before you give your own, isn't it?" She asked, though in a friendly manner.

"I-I'm sorry." Ahatake stammered again. "My name is Ahatake Noriko Kurosaki."

Her expression seemed to brighten at the mention of the word "Kurosaki". "What a coincidence! Last names sound similar..." She grinned, opening both eyes to look over at him. "My name's Kirisaki Megami. Pleasure to meet you, Ahatake-san." It was quite humorous to her that the poor guy seemed to be stuttering over his words.

"That is a coincidence." Ahatake said, smiling. Then he sighed. He really didn't know what to say in situations like this.

"Don't look so worked up..." Megami said soothedly, turning her head back towards the sky and closing her eyes. "Now that the city's repaired, we can all go back to our normal lives. No more oppression... no more army... no more corrupt King. Just us souls.... right?" Her last word had a hopeful tone to it, as to encourage Ahatake to believe the same.

Ahatake laughed. "You're right. No more of those laws that tick the living hell out of me." He said, grinning. "Though the king wasn't a bad opponent now I think about it." He added as an afterthought.

That made Megami do a double-take. "W...wait, you fought him?" She asked, finding a newfound interest in his story. She prooped herself up on her elbows, looking over the man with curiosity. "And you beat him?"

"The Current King and I fought him and we both beat him." Ahatake replied, grinning.

"I..." This time, Megami propped herself on her hands, grin eager as her ears picked up the news. "I had no idea I was talking to one of the heroes of Yuurei!" She exclaimed. "You must be really strong... was it hard fighting him?" She pulled her legs up to her chest, resting her arms on her knees in order to assure him that she was listening fully.

Ahatake's face was turning bright red. "Well it wasn't easy. Juushin and I had to double team him when we fought. The king was able to control space-time and even the likes of Juushin's speed couldn't beat him. No matter what attacks we used, he was able to brush them all off. It took a level 99 Bakudo from Juushin plus a Kido-Cero combination from myself to actually kill the man."

Megami nodded, a rather thoughtful look coming over her. She turned away from the Kurosaki for a moment, looking upwards towards the sky. "I don't think I could do that myself. Ever since I joined the resistance, I've been training hard in order to be a more helpful asset, but... it's never gonna compare to what you did." A weak smile came across her face. "Guess I have to keep workin', huh?"

Ahatake grinned. "Of course. I'm pretty sure you'll get stronger if you train. Of course there are always those who are born with power, and no matter how hard you try you'll never catch up to them." He frowned for a moment.

"It can't be that bad..."

"It is when it concerns the person I'm talking about." Ahatake sighed, looking up at the sky. It was almost dark. "That man could destroy the Seireitei five times over."

"...." The bitter tone in his voice couldn't help but make Megami give a rather sympathetic look. She was about to say something further when she realised, with a look of surprise, that the sky was now turning slowly from red to purple. She sighed heavily. "I pick the wrong time to visit the beach sometimes..." She looked over at Ahatake, silently hoping he wouldn't leave just yet.

Ahatake looked at her. "No, you picked the right time to visit." He said, smiling again. "You being here lightens my mood."

A faint blush fell across her cheeks. "R...really?" She asked hesitantly. "All right... I'll stay for a while longer..." She allowed herself to lie back down, but this time on her stomach. Sure, the sun was going down, but that didn't mean it was completely out just yet. Besides, lying on her back got a bit uncomfortable after a while...

Ahatake looked back up at the sky. This woman was far different than Tereya, and that was good. He looked back at her. "Um...Megami?" Ahatake started, his face red again. "W-would you be free for a date tomorrow?" He asked, stammering once again.

"Huh?" At first, Megami regarded him with bemusement, but it was brief. She allowed herself a smile to cross her lips. "....you find me that interesting?" She asked rhetorically, placing a chin in her hands. "Well, I suppose I'm free tomorrow, depending on the time. You know..." She looked innocently up at him. "You're kinda cute when you blush like that."

Ahatake grinned as elation flowed through him. "Yes I find you that interesting." He said, pointing his head at the sky. He fired a Bala blast and shortly after, fired another, they collided and exploded like a firework.

Despite her amazement, her eyes were like one of a fox's, and the satfisfied smile was clear on Megami's face. "Well, thanks... that makes me feel special." She said, in a minor manner of teasing. It was a shame that the explosion was brief; the skydancing colors had been dazzling to watch.

Ahatake smiled. "As much as I hate to, I have to go. Family at home and I don't trust my son alone in the house at night."

Megami grinned a little wider, allowing herself to get up from the towel she was lying on. "What? He a troublemaker?" She said jokingly, kneeling over to pick up the towel and fix it on her shoulder.

Ahatake laughed dryly. "I wish it was that simple."

"Well, you seem like a reliable father, so I think you can take care of him." Megami said encouragingly, turning on her heel and starting to walk off. She was, however, courteous enough to give him a good-bye wave. "Hope to see you again tomorrow, whenever I can!" She called over her shoulder.

"Of course." Ahatake replied, waving as he burst into flame, vanishing on the spot.

Immediately, she spun around, doing a double take of surprise by the vanishing at that the Kurosaki performed. She blinked a few times, as if trying to blink him back where he was sitting. But nothing happened; he had actually vanished into thin air... and fire. "Neat trick..." She commented, before turning to walk off once more.

Forgetting About Her[]

Ahatake reappeared in his house in a similar burst of flames, and changed into proper clothing. He walked down the stairs, feeling happier than he had in awhile.

The first thing he came across was Taiki himself. He was sitting cross-legged in the middle of the floor, eyes closed, and a rather peaceful expression on his face. At first, he seemed to be simply using the art of Jinzen, communicating with his inner spirit. However, it was obvious by the way he turned his head to see Ahatake walk in that he wasn't; Jinzen users would've had a much more deeper hypnotic state inflicted on them. "Oh, Dad, it's just you..." He muttered, turning his head back to its former position and closing his eyes.

"Just me?" Ahatake repeated. "Who were you expecting kid?"

Taiki allowed himself to shrug non-chalantly. "Maybe a friend of mine..." He was lying, but his calm tone was just too convincing for him to seem that he was lying. His pose was far too relaxed, as well. "Maybe not." He added, as an afterthought.

"I didn't even know you had friends." Ahatake laughed, washing his hands in the sink.

"Yes, well, we're not all anti-social morons who have nothing to do better than train their butts off." Taiki replied mockingly. However, he didn't even bother to smile at it, rather focusing on whatever he was attempting to do at the moment.

"Are you the only one here kid?" Ahatake asked.

"I haven't bothered to check. Though, I myself plan on leaving soon, after I'm done with this."

"Alright." Ahatake repied, heading over to the living room. No point in checking if Midoriko was here. He already knew she wasn't.

Taiki sighed, opening his eyes again and pinching the bridge of his nose in frustration. Slowly, he stood up, brushing himself down for dust that might have accumulated on his person. Then, he turned around. "I'm outta here. I'll probably be back later on this night, or the morning..." He called back non-chalantly, ignoring the possibility that what he just said might infer to a motive.

"Alright." Ahatake said airily. "Try not to kill anyone."

"Are you still thinking of Kaa-san again?" Taiki commented calmly, stopping at the door. "If you are, you shouldn't be so easy as to dismiss her as a traitor. After all, you did see your own strength over her own..." Without another word, he turned around and walked off into the night, shutting the door behind him.

Taiki was wrong however. Tereya was the furthest thing from Ahatake's mind. His mind was on Megami. He looked up as he heard the door open again, and he saw the figures of Aoi and Kyuui walk in.

Aoi was talking loudly. "SO nice not to have cops following us now when it starts to get dark!"

Kyuui was smiling sheepishly, squinted eyes in a slight U-shape. "Co'mon, sis..." She complained. "Not so loud... we're in the-- Ojii!" She cut herself off immediately at the sight of her grandfather sitting on the living room sofa.

"Oh, Aoi, Kyuui." Ahatake looked up grinning. "How are you two enjoying the lack of curfew."

"It's great!" Kyuui put on a big smile, clapping her hands together. "We're free to go anywhere we want to, just as long as we stay inside the city. There were some advisors there to watch us, just in case we got into too much trouble, but they weren't as strict as the Yuurei cops."

"So many places to go!" Aoi said enthusiastically. "We just came back to get a snack and we're back out."

"But..." Kyuui raised an eyebrow lightly, folding her arms across her chest. "What will you be doing? I' figure you'd be out doing something along with Ob--" Immediately, she cut herself off, eyes widening as the memory once again came to her: Tereya was gone. She looked a bit defeated after that, her words having been destroyed by the mere memory. "Well..." She started up again. "I thought you'd be doing something..."

Ahatake grinned. "Well, I wasn't going to mention if yet, but I do have plans tomorrow."

"Really?" It seemed to brighten up Kyuui immediately. She walked briskly past Ahatake and towards the refrigerator. "Can you tell us what they are?" Promptly, she opened the door, eyes searching around for what would be a refreshment for the two sisters. "Hey, Aoi! What're you wanting?" She said towards her sister, not bothering to turn around. It would've been too much trouble to.

"Throw me an apple." Aoi replied.

"Aw, you suck..." Kyuui complained, but complied and tossed Aoi an apple. She got herself, however, a bottle of water; if they were going to be out for a long time, she was going to need it. She turned her head back towards her grandfather, tilting her head curiosly at his silence. "Aw, c'mon, Ojii, don't be like that...we won't tell!"

Ahatake chuckled. "Alright. I'd gone down to the beach for some quiet. Unfortunately, people were coming down to surf and whatnot. Just as I was getting annoyed, a woman sits next to me, and we strike up conversation. Now I have a date with her for tomorrow."

Aoi was grinning. "Way to go Ojii-chan!"

It didn't seem to lighten up Kyuui's mood any. In fact, it seemed to make her a little bit upset. A small scowl came across her face. "...you're not falling in love with this lady... are you...?" She questioned, looking at Ahatake suspiciously. After all, she had the common sense to know that dates usually meant some sort of bond, and if that was the case... it would lead to love, and then... No, no! That couldn't be!

"I'm not sure." Ahatake replied, bewildered by the young girl's attitude. "I might be."

This gave Kyuui the go-ahead to narrow her eyes disdainfully at her grandfather. "I see." She said, retaining a calm tone. But there was a hidden disgust in it, as well as a stab of betrayal. She took her path, walking briskly past Ahatake and towards the door. "C'mon, Aoi. We got places to go..." That brought her good mood to a standstill; if the thing as marriage came up, this woman would be allowed to ste pinto their family - a replacement for the grandmother she loved. She would be forced to forget her, having to dismiss Tereya as if she had never came into her life. That's what her grandfather was asking her to do... just because he was willing to so easily forget about her.

Ahatake sighed as Aoi, puzzled, followed her sister out of the house.

"Kyuui, what's wrong with you?" Aoi asked. "I can tell you're not very happy for Ojii-chan."

"Isn't it obvious?" Kyuui countered, looking at Aoi with pleading eyes as she continued to walk. "If this ends up to where Ojii's going to marry this woman, it means we're going to have to forget our actual grandmother! I don't know about you, but I don't want to do that! She..." She trailed off for a moment, looking forward again. "She's just too far in my mind to just dismiss lie trash."

Aoi sighed. "Ojii-chan wouldn't let us forget about her. And besides, do you really want Ojii-chan to be alone for the rest of his life with only us around? I mean, Midoriko spends all her time with Kibou and Tou-san and Kaa-chan are always away. And even we're not in the house all the time. And his sister is in the World of the Living. He's got no one, Kyuui."

"You say that he won't let us forget..." Kyuui said, narrowing her eyes in disdain once more. "But how can you say that when he's already chosen to move on? He's gonna forget Obaa-san ever came into his life, and he's going to fall head over heals with this new woman! I know that he's got no one, but... if he marries this lady, then that's what's going to happen!" Her voice, throughout her speech, was getting more distraught.

Aoi put her arm around Kyuui consolingly. "Kyuui, I think you're reading too much into this. At least let this play out."

"STOP it, Aoi!" In frustration, Kyuui pulled away, lowering her arms and clenching her fists. "I can't accept this! I can't! I...I just can't!" Why was her sister not seeing it the same way she was? It was going to happen, whether they liked it or not! What use could Ahatake possibly have for Tereya, now that she had dumped their marriage in their face?

Aoi sighed. "You're reacting to this way too much. I think you should calm down and deal with it. You can't stop Ojii-chan from doing as he pleases."

"That's exactly what Ojii said to Obaa about Mom and Dad!" Kyuui snapped. "And look what happened-- ...forget it... I'm going back home." Clearly not in the mood for argument, she turned and walked off from Aoi, back in the direction of where they had come from. She might as well go back and get some sleep; it was getting too dark, anyway, for the likes of her.

Aoi sighed. No use being out here without Kyuui. She followed after her silently.

Kyuui, however, didn't really acknowledge her presence anymore, far too angered at the moment to say much. She didn't say anything when she came back home, tossed the water on one of the nearby chairs, went all the way to her room, and promptly lay on the bed. Guess she had no choice... a heavy sigh came from her lips. If only Tou-san was here with them... maybe he knew the right words to say, instead of simply "dealing with it".

Aoi had followed but instead of laying down to sleep with Kyuui, she walked over to the window and sat in the chair by it and stared outside. She didn't see the problem with dating someone. If Kyuui was to reject her (she shuddered at the thought, as it had happened before), she'd most likely find someone else. She couldn't understand why Kyuui was so mad. Aoi sighed a s cool breeze blew across her face.

"...I'm going to sleep." Kyuui muttered in monotone, turning away from Aoi and closing her eyes. "G'nite."

"Yeah, G'nite." Aoi replied, laying her head down by the window.

Preparation[]

Ahatake was wide awake, despite being early in the morning. He hadn't been able to get a fraction of sleep, the anticipation had been overwhelming. He walked downstairs and sat down in the living room armchair. Everyone else must have been asleep.

It wasn't too long, before the white-haired man known as Taiki opened the door to the house. He didn't look too bad, but it appeared as if he too had been staying awake throughout the night. There were several ruffles in his clothing, along with bruises and scratches on the visible parts on his skin. There were slight bags under his eyes. However, he still had that non-chalant smile on his face as he shut the door behind him, hands in his pockets.

Ahatake noticed the marks on his son's skin the moment he walked in. "Someone attack you kid?"

"Nah. I'm good." Taiki replied non-chalantly, easily lying through his teeth. He kept walking past Ahatake and towards the head of the stairs. "Just gonna go tell the daughters that their grandmother is A-OK." Considering that it was Ahatake, he didn't really expect a reaction from the non-chalant tone he used when he referred to Tereya, for he assumed that he had simply moved her from her thoughts.

"Did she attack you?" Ahatake chuckled as a mental image of it flashed in his head.

"Of course not. How could you think so lowly of her, Dad? I'm her son, as well as the only one who doesn't think of me as some sort of traitor." Taiki reminded him, walking up the steps. "What reason would she have to attack me?"

"Her insane temper." Ahatake pointed out. "I took her cigarettes once and she mauled me." He shuddered.

For a moment, Taiki stopped, a sudden urge to talk with his grandfather coming on. But he didn't allow himself to turn away. "You provoked her. She was fine until you disrupted her line of thinking. That's why you always touched her temper like you did." He reminded. "Her temper's just as insane as your love of fighting."

Ahatake sighed. "Only you would call my love of fighting insane, you and Kyuui being the only ones in the family who didn't inherit it."

"Now, when did I ever say that I didn't love fighting?" Taiki allowed himself to look over his shoulder, his expression slightly earnest. "After all, I enjoyed fighting Adela in my young age, and I reveled in it more when I nearly ripped out several of her rib-cages with my bare hand. It's only a pity she didn't start crying... that would've gave it even more flavor." A rather poutish look came over his features, and he raised a hand to rub two fingers together.

"You only fought her once." Ahatake replied. "Anytime after that was plain abuse, considering she never resisted., or fought back." He scowled.

"Yeah, I know... it really got my blood flowing, too..." Taiki smiled, seemingly oblivious to the scowl on his grandfather's face. "I should really get back to doing that, too. Now that she's finally gotten some guts, I'll be finally able to have a bit of challenge."

"And I'll laugh as she picks you apart, piece by painful piece." Ahatake replied harshly.

"Tch..." When Taiki turned around once more, a rather disapproving expression was on his face. "C'mon, Tou-san. Don't take it so personally. We were just talking about how fun fighting was and all that. Lighten up a little..." He emphasized his words with a careless shrug.

"Not going to lighten up when someone is talking about ripping out his wife's ribs." Ahatake replied. "And didn't you have something you were going to do?"

"Oh, that's right! Thanks for reminding me." Without furhter word, Taiki continued to head up towards the stairs and disappeared out of sight.

"Where did we go wrong with that one.." Ahatake sighed.

Hands in his pockets, Taiki calmly walked up towards the twin's door and listened closely. He heard the sound of light snoring, and a genuine smile, this time, came across his face. They seemed so peaceful while they slept, even when he couldn't see them... darling little angels. It was a shame he would have to lie to them... calmly, he pushed the door open and stepped in, looking over them with a warm expression. "Morning, my little angels!" He greeted.

Immediately, Kyuui allowed herself to get up, eyes weary at first. "Tou-san...?" She muttered weakly, attempting to get herself up from the bed. "Is that you...?" Taiki nodded in reply, allowing himself to sit down on one of the chairs that were in the room.

Aoi jumped up from her sleep and screamed. "WHOZAWHATSIS?!? Oh it's just Tou-san."

"Yes, it's me..." Taiki winced a little at the scream, using a pinky to clean out the ear nearest to him. "And I'm not Santa Claus, but I do bring gifts!" He said, attempting a joke. "Of news." He didn't really expect anyone to laugh, which Kyuui didn't. But she did allow herself to rise from the bed, now fully awake thanks to her sister's screaming.

"What is it, Tou-san?" She questioned.

"Yeah tell us." Aoi replied, sitting back in her chair.

"It's about your grandmother." Taiki seemed a little hesitant of telling them the news, but he felt like he should. "I met up with her, and we had a little talk." He wasn't really sure about how to go about this, feeling insecure as he put a hand to the back of his head.

"Oh crap." Aoi thought, looking at Kyuui anxiously. "Is she where you got those bruises?"

Taiki shook his head honestly. "No. But she's doing real fine right now. She's got a new husband..." He trailed off, with Kyuui looking a bit saddened at his words. "But she hasn't forgotten about us. In fact, she might be visiting once again." He himself put on an earnest expression just to emphasize his statements.

"You mean...." Kyuui looked much happier than she did. "She'll come back for us again? When will it be?"

"Not soon, I assure you. She's got some things to take care of, but once she does, she'll be coming back home... even if it is for a short while."

"Since she's married again, Kyuui, are you O.K. with Ojii-chan dating the new girl he mentioned?" Aoi asked this very fast.

Kyuui hadn't even paid attention too her, too far caught up in her very own excitement. She lunged over and glomped her father in a hug. "Oh, thank you for telling me! Ojii-san won't have to forget about her, after all!" She squealed, finding it much easier to breathe. Now she wouldn't have to forget about her previous grandmother, after all!

Aoi rolled her eyes. "Sure, ignore my question."

"Of course I'm fine with it!" Kyuui exclaimed, running away from him and leaping onto their bed. She raised her hands in the air, as if attempting to embrace the sun itself. "I don't care if he marries her, either! As long as I don't have to say goodbye to one of my beloved ones so soon!" This made Taiki smile in earnest. He got up from the chair and walked over to stand beside her bed.

"Good to hear. Now let's get downstairs! Breakfast is getting ready!" He turned her back to her, leaning forward and extending his arms out behind him. She didn't hesitate, leaping onto his back with a short shout of glee - a piggyback ride. Despite it being Taiki, it was a rather family-like, cute scene to see.

Aoi sighed, though she couldn't repress a grin she they walked out the room. "Let's get this show on the road."

Together, the small family walked downstairs and to ground level. The smell of food came clearly to Taiki's and Kyuui's noses. She rested her chin on his shoulder. "I guess that means we're not too late, huh?" She teased, causing a chuckle to come from Taiki.

Adela was at the stove cooking, while Ahatake was still sitting in the living room. She looked up when she saw her husband and daughters walking in, Kyuui clinging to her father's back.

Once he stopped at the table, Taiki allowed himself to gently knee to the ground, allowing Kyuui to get off. "This is your stop. Please take all possessions before leaving the Taiki Express. Thank you!" He announced, allowing himself to stand back up and dust his legs off.

Adela smiled. "Taiki, you seem to be in a good mood today."

"I caught up with Kaa-san last night." Taiki replied, walking her and giving her a kiss on each cheek out of affection. "I wanted to check up on her, but she said she was doin' real fine. Plus, she's going to visit sometime soon.... well, not soon but, still...." He shrugged lightly.

"That'll be good for these two." Adela replied, laddling eggs and bacon onto plates for Aoi and Kyuui. "Ahatake are you going to eat anything?"

"No, I'll pass." Ahatake replied.

"'Course he's gonna pass..." Taiki said, a smirk coming onto his face. "He's got a date that's going to feed him his lunch." He took a seat, slightly off and opposite from his father. Kyuui promptly sat beside him.

Ahatake reached for a pencil and threw it at Taiki without looking, his gaze lost in space.

As a result, he didn't notice Taiki catching it and tossing it right back, the lead point piercing through his father's shoulder. "Tou-san, that's so childish." He reprimanded, putting his arms on the table. Where did that pencil even come from, anyway? Had the authors decided to put in a random plothole and apparate it there? Mentally, he scowled. "That's right, you bastards. I'm onto you..." He thought.

Ahatake looked at his shoulder. The pencil was there. he sighed and ripped it out. "I'm off to change." He said, walking out of the kitchen.

This made Taiki raise an eyebrow in question, even as he was sitting rather lazily. "What's his problem?" He asked to no one in particular. The guy was going on a date, after all. With a potential wife! Not that he himself was looking eagerly into it - he just believed that his father would be excited.

Aoi swallowed her food and spoke up. "I bet Ojii-chan is nervous."

"Of course he's nervous!" Kyuui agreed, looking over at both her mother and father. "Remember Mom? I didn't think much of it back then, but she always seemed so shy around Dad..." She commented, attempting to think of when she was younger. She put her elbows on the table, her chin in her hands as she smiled at the both of them. "So it's obvious Ojii's feeling the same way about this girl!"

"Let's just hope he doesn't bail on her." Aoi said.

"Tou-san ain't that cowardly." Taiki assured her, a rather amused grin crawling onto his countenance. "There's no such thing as cowardice when it comes to him. After all, we've all seen the way he fights. This should be a walk in the park." The man put forth a lot of confidence and level-headedness in his words.

"Hem hem." Was the sound of someone clearing his throat. Ahatake appeared, his hair combed, though still with a large bang over his left eye, and he was dressed in a rather nice suit. "Would you all stop talking about how this is gonna go?"

"No." Taiki answered, giving him a bored look as he came in. "Such news must be discussed with the family in these times of boredom and insanity." He had to admit, the guy was smart enough to actually dress for the occassion. But, he couldn't help but wonder if it was a bit much. It would probably make the guy look bad if the girl came in with casual wear...

"Ojii, you look spiffy!" Kyuui complimented, looking over the clothing that her grandfather wore.

"Thanks Kyuui." Ahatake said as Aoi laughed at the word spiffy.

"Will you be leaving now?" Taiki asked, just to make sure. He found it ridiculous to stop and eat dinner, then head all the way towards a possible restaurant with the date and say "I'm full". Personally, he would find that awkward. Or, maybe he was just thinking too much into it...

"Yeah." Ahatake said. "Do me a favor kid, and try not to kill anyone."

What in the hell was propelling him to ask Taiki that? However, the white-haired boy simply put on a cheery expression in return. "Ok, but I can't make any promises!" He exclaimed innocently, giving a small wave in his direction. "Have fun and good luck with your date."

"See Ojii-chan!" Aoi waved cheerfully.

"Yeah, see you all later." He said before vanishing in a burst of flame, and appearing in town square. It would be the easiest place for Megami to spot him.

Dinner[]

She herself wasn't very hard to spot, either.

Megami Kirisami in Kimono Fashion

Megami, as she appears in the story.

She was clad in a white-colored and flowered kimono. Her long, flowing red hair was neatly secured and tied into a ponytail that hung behind her. Her bare feet was classed in nothing but sandals. Currently, she appeared to be talking to someone, a seemingly random male, if not anything else. With a few more words, he walked off, but not before giving her a wave. She waved back, then turned her eyes to keep walking forward... that is, until she saw her date. "Kurosaki-san!" She said in surprise, diverting her own path to walk towards him.

Ahatake turned at the sound of her voice, and was stunned. The kimono seemed to suit her very well, and he was nearly speechless. Regaining his composure, he smiled. "Wow. You look beautiful Megami."

The woman allowed herself to smile warmly, blushing faintly. "Thank you. You're not too bad yourself..." She gestured lightly towards his suit. It made him look like a gentleman, and with her beside him, they would look like a certainly noticeable couple out of this repetitive crowd.

Ahatake smiled. "So, where would you like to go first?" As he asked this question, his stomach growled.

This made Megami produce a short laugh, obviously amused by his bodily reaction. "I think I'll let you be the judge of that." She moved in, slipping in and grasping his hand in a brave manner. "Shall we go, Kurosaki...kun?" She emphasized the suffix in a soft, but clear manner, her smile turning rather mischievous.

Ahatake grinned at the honorific added to his name. "Then let's go eat." He said, gripping her hand, and began to walk. "So, Megami, I never really asked you anything about yourself yet. What exactly is it you do?"

"Oh, my job?" Megami questioned, looking over towards him. "I'm in real estate."

"Real estate?" Ahatale grinned. "I hear people make pretty good money as a real estate agent. Sucks for me. I'm just a security guard."

"Security Guard?" The very sound of it surprised Megami, and it made her raise both eyebrows, seemingly out of sympathy. "Is that really a job they would give to one of the heroes of Yuurei?" She asked, putting on a weak smile.

"Nah, it's a job I applied for." Ahatake replied. "My family and I weren't to hyped up about having to apply for job's when we moved here."

"I understand..." Megami sighed, running her fingers through her hair in mock frustration. "The limitations were quite frustrating. The only thing the old government actually supported thoroughly was the military, which wasn't enough for people who wanted to be variously social. I'm glad the barrier's been removed, though..."

"Yeah." Ahatake replied. "I just hope the new King doesn't let that power go to his head."


At his little desk, filling out paperwork, Juushin sneezed abruptly. "ACHOO!" It startled his comrade Chidori, who happened to be looming curiously over him. "Allergies?" She asked, in slight but indirect concern.

"No. Think someone's talking about me...."


"Don't worry...." Megami's smile turned encouraging. "He led the Resistance. I'm sure he has good intentions."

"Yeah." Ahatake replied. "I trust him to be a fair ruler. And look, we're here." Ahatake pointed up at the restaurant, which looked very luxurious.

It was more than luxurious. It was perfect.

The building itself was rather hotel-like in structure, but obviously small. Its walls were a sleek black, and a red neon sign was overhead, stating the name of the restaurant. There were brick boxes stacked among the walls, with lush, green plants growing from the dirt that was contained by the boxes. In entirety, the restaurant itself screamed "Pick me! Pick me!". Fortunately, there was no line, and there could be a lot of commotion going on. A good way to start off the date.

Megami herself found it to be very good eye candy. Her pupils practically sparkled, and she clapped her hands together, temporarily letting go of Ahatake's in the process. "It's perfect!" She judged, clearly pleased with his choice.

Ahatake grinned. "Nice to see you like it. Shall we go?"

"Let's." Coming to her senses, Megami agreed once again slipped her hand in Ahatake's. It was going to be a comfortable day.

As they entered, a waiter appeared before them, and spoke with a thick French accent. "Welcome, Monsieur and Mademoiselle, to Les frères heureux."

Ahatake held out what looked like bills, presumably Kan. "A table for two please."

"Right zis way." He said, leading them over to a table near the window. He pulled out their chairs, and laying menu's on the table, left. The table they were at gave them a perfect view of nearly the entire restaurant.

"A good view... already, I'm having a good time!" Megami joked, not hesitating to take her seat... in a ladylike fashion. She picked up the menu, studying it carefully. She hadn't eaten this kind of food before, so it was difficult to decide on what to get.

Ahatake looked at the menu. As he had expected, everything was in French. Not a problem for him, but he wasn't so sure about Megami.

"Can you read your menu?" He asked.

"...not at all."

Ahatake laughed. "Let me go over the menu then and name things you might like."

She had to laugh a little, but lowered her menu to reveal her face once again. "You can read French? Who taught you?" She asked, grinning a little bit. A bilingual usually meant some sort of above-average intellect. If she was lucky, this man might be some sort of genius!

"My uncle." Ahatake replied. "I picked up quite a bit from him during family outings." He looked down the menu. "If you like seafood there's the Bouillabaisse."

"No..."

"Pretty sure no one wants the Escargot. Perhaps Canard or the Foie Gras?"

"Well, I know that the Escargot's the snail..." Megami put a hand to her chin, looking at her own menu thoughtfully. "What about the other two?"

"Canard is duck, and the Foie Gras is-" Ahatake made a face before continuing. "-duck liver."

Megami shrugged lightly, lowering her hand. "All right. I suppose the duck would be good. How about you?" She questioned further. She couldn't help but immediately think he was going to order the same thing as she did; after all, he hadn't said his order immediately, but instead asked for hers first.

"I think I'll have the poulet." Ahatake said, folding up the menu.

"And that is...?" She was a little bit annoyed at herself for asking so many questions. But, after all, she couldn't read French, and thus couldn't understand what her date was saying. It was quite frustrating.

"Chicken." Ahatake replied, laughing.

Wow. She had made a big deal over nothing. The woman smiled, unable to think of much to say about the situation. It was just food, after all! What possible thing they could talk about other than food other than how they eating it? Surely, they wouldn't discuss how they chewed it, nor would they talk about how many tastes there were in it--

Ok, she was overthinking things.

The waiter came around, and Ahatake placed their orders in French, and he left as quickly as he had come. Ahatake wished he could think of something to say to Megami. This was not his area of expertise.

"So..." As she lowered her eyes to her plate, lifting a knife to cut and the fork to... stab... she continued to direct her words at Ahatake. "Other than being a real estate agent, I was also a Shinigami under the Gotei 13. Though, it's been a while since I left... I can't exactly remember what my rank was. But, I do remember that I was under consideration for the 11th Division."

Ahatake grinned. "You were a Shinigami?" He seemed elated at this. "And the 11th Division? I can only assume you like to fight then?"

"You assume right." She took a bite of the food, stopping her talking flow until she finished (which was, of course, brief). "Though, I only like to fight when it's necessary. In such circumstances, killing your opponent is the only option you have, and life is just far too short for one to send another to their death like they were their god."

"Seems we have two things in common then." Ahatake replied, biting into the chicken and swallowing it. "Love of fighting and a dislike of killing."

"What about you?" Megami asked, tilting her head to the side slightly as she re-directed her eyes towards him. "How'd you obtain your... fighting prowess?" She couldn't help but be a little curious in what would be seen as a fellow fighter.

Ahatake slowly chewed more chicken before speaking. "Well, when I was originally a human, my entire family was attacked by a Hollow. It was a very strange Hollow, as when it attacked me, it thrust my soul from my body and destroyed my chain of fate. Normally that would have resulted in my becoming a Hollow right then and there, but somehow I override it, becoming a Shinigami instead. Unfortunarely, I developed a rather troublesome inner Hollow. And seeking help, I was trained by three teachers. After that, I was on my own."

"...what happened to your family?" Megami instantly regretted asking the question, but knew she couldn't take it back. "I mean... when you had gotten attacked."

"My mother was killed. My father was as well." Ahatake replied, taking a sip of the wine. "But someone restored him to life. Now he's remarried and God knows where."

"Well..." Even though it slightly pleased her to hear that his father was still alive, it still depressed her that his mother was still deceased - a permanent tragedy of the family. "Sorry for asking..." She apologized immediately, her tone slightly solemn. Why did she have to dig into his past like that?

"It's alright." Ahatake replied, smiling. "Why keep information from you?" He cut into some more chicken. "So why did you leave the Seireitei?"

"Well, I just felt like it wasn't right for me." Megami said, carefully speaking her words. "As a matter of fact, I just didn't feel right at the Seireitei. It felt too... old, ancient. That's why I moved to Yuurei Oukoku: it had a better tecnological advancement than the Seireitei."

"True." Ahatake replied, nodding. "We only moved her because my daughter wanted to."

"Really? You must be a caring father to your children, then..." Megami commented, smiling. "Most wouldn't go to that length to make their kids happy, so it's glad to see you're a risk-taker."

Ahatake laughed. "I guess so." He said, setting down his knife and fork. "I can say one thing. This is a beautiful place....when police aren't constantly patrolling."

"Well, wasn't that obvious?" Megami joked, though not in a mean way. "Didn't you get time to witness its beauty at the beach? It was supposed to be a utopia, after all."

"True." Ahatake replied, laughing as he drained the last of his drink. "And now that the laws of been lifted, this place can become just what it was meant to be."

"Yeah..." So caught up in the conversation, Megami had neglected to notice that she had finished the consumption of her food until she attempted to take another bite. In response, she set down her utensils. "Would it be OK if..." She was hesitant, however, to say her next words in particular. "...I got to be introduced to your family sometime?"

Ahatake smiled. "Of course!" He said, surprised that she had brought that up, as he was about to ask her if she had wanted to meet them. "Whenever you want to meet them I'll be glad to take you."

"Now would be a good time!" Megami exclaimed, enjoyed at hearing the chance of getting to meet Ahatake's family. "Since we're both not really doing anything besides this."

"Alright then." Ahatake replied, leaving bills as a tip for the waiter. "Would you prefer to walk, or try my method of teleporation?"

Megami allowed herself to stand, leaving her plate at the table. The waiter would be so kind as to pick it up and do the work for her, after all. "Well, that was a neat trick you did back at the beach... wonder what it's like..." She mused, walking over to him. "Go ahead and try it." She wrapped an arm around his, practically clinging onto the man affectionately.

Meeting The Family[]

Ahatake's face reddened at her touch. "Hold on tight." He said, as in an instant they were covered by flames and suddenly it felt as if there were catapulted from a cannon, wind pressure against them, then as suddenly as it had started, they were enveloped by flames again and the feeling stopped as they materialized in the Kurosaki Household.

It was a rush to her lungs, as well as her mind. Almost immediately, she released her hold and shuffled a little, dizzied from the feeling. "Oh, crap..." She muttered, holding her head. Her eyes were rather swirly. "Feels like I just went on a roller coaster..."

Ahatake chuckled, giving her some support. "You get used to it, believe me."

"If we ever happen to do it again!" She looked around, using one hand to hold her temples and the other to wrap an arm around the Kurosaki's shoulders as he supported her. "So, where are they?"

"Let's see." Ahatake said, clearing his throat loudly. "AOI! KYUUI! TAIKI! ADELA!" His voice boomed throughout the building.

"Relax..."

However, the small femine voice of Kyuui was right behind him, her formerly prostrate form on the couch slowly rising. "You didn't need to raise your voice, we're right here!" She complained, obviously a bit miffed at hearing their grandfather scream at her in point-blank range. Behind her, with both arms on the back of the couch was a silent Taiki, eyes glancing casually over at the both of them.

"Megami, this is my granddaughter Kyuui." He gestured towards Kyuui. "And my son Taiki."

"Nice to meet you..." Kyuui greeted, running right up to the kimono-clad woman and extending her hand. "You must be Ojii-san's date, right?" The woman herself had to smile, but took the girl's small hand in her own in a handshake. "I hope he's been treating you nicely!" The statement was not out of protection for the woman, but out of enthusiasm; she knew her grandfather would be nice to her

"Oh, he is, don't you worry..." Megami turned towards the son, who walked around with his hands in his pockets. He had a rather welcoming smile on his own face. "I heard from your father that you were a troublemaker... how much have you been giving him?" She asked him, although a joking tone was present.

This caused Taiki's eyes to widen. He raised both of his hands in defense, waving them slightly in a sign of protest. "Who, me? I'm a nice guy! I do no such thing!"

"He's lying." It was not Ahatake who spoke, but a woman. Adela had come down the stairs, Aoi bounding down behind her.

"Oh, come on, honey!" Taiki complained, Flash Stepping in front of Adela and stopping her just as she came down the stairs. However, his back was to her, pressed against her chest. He had to look over his shoulder at her, arms folded across his chest. "Don't make me look bad in front of the guest! It might make Tou-san look like a sucky father!" Kyuui herself had to giggle, seeing the sight of her father blantantly snuggled up to her mother in such a manner.

Ahatake sighed. "The woman there is my daughter in law, Adela. And the young girl is my granddaughter, Aoi. And my daughter is of course, not here."

"Might I ask where she is at the moment?" Megami questioned, putting her fingers to her bottom lip.

"At the house of a family friend." Ahatake replied lightly.

"Ah..." She nodded, not needing to ask anything else. Kyuui had re-positioned herself on the couch, looking over her grandfather and his potential wife curiously. Taiki, meanwhile, had retracted himself from snuggling to his wife and stood apart from her.

Aoi walked up to her and smiled. "Ojii-chan sure picked a pretty one."

"Aw, aren't you such a sweetie!" Megami blushed at the compliment, but put on a cheery smile either way. Taiki couldn't help but grin as well, seeing the two interact.

"She kinda bears a resemblance to Auntie, don't ya think?" He asked the family.

"No, Akiko's hair is darker, and her eyes are different." Ahatake replied. "And she's darker."

Aoi nodded. "Pity Aunt Midoriko isn't here, though."

"I said kinda, dad... not that she could be passed off as Auntie's identical twin..." Taiki complained, a disapproving frown coming across his features. However, before he could continue, Megami once again interrupted with a question. "What's she like?" She wondered. "I'd like to meet her, if she ever does come regularly..."

"Who? My sister?" Ahatake asked,

"No, dad, the other Midoriko." Taiki said sarcastically.

And once again, Ahatake reached for the pencil beside the dresser and threw it at his son.

This action seemed to alarm Megami a little, eyes widening and mouth opening in disbelief. Taiki, however, was unphased, moving his head to the side in order to keep the pencil from getting a headshot. The lead embedded itself into the wall, allowing the pencil to stick there.

"Anyway, Midoriko is...I'm not exactly sure how to describe her." Ahatake thought for a moment. "Well, she's a kind person, now though as a child she was far from it. It'd be better for you to meet her than for me to describe her."

"That sounds fair... when can we do that?"

"Right now, if you'd like."

"I'd love to!" Megami exclaimed. "But, I'd like to get to know the current people a bit more..."

"We're not that interesting." Aoi replied, smiling brightly. "Besides, if all goes well, you'll have ages of time to get to know us."

At her statement, Megami gave a weak smile in return. "Well, if that's the case, then I'm glad to see this Midoriko person..." She said in resolution, lowering her arms to her sides. She looked over at Ahatake. "We're going to have to go through that again, won't we?" She emphasized this by once again clinging to his arm, this time as if her very life depended on it.

Ahatake grinned. "Unless you want to walk."

"Nah... you said yourself I would get over it after a while, right?"

"True." Ahatake replied. He waved to the others as they burst into flames once more, and, after the uncomfortable cannon ball feeling, appeared and Ryuka and Kyashi's front door.

This time, Megami almost fell on the door, but managed to raise a hand to knock. She rapped on the door three times, then lowered her hand. At first, there was a dead silence that fell upon the atmosphere. Were they actually there? Had they gone off somewhere? Their questions, or at least hers, were soon answered by an opening of the door. It was none other than the the man of the house, one hand in his pocket, and his sword unsheathed, the blade over his right shoulder. "Hm?" He grunted in an asking manner, looking over the two immediately.

Megami couldn't help but recoil slightly at the weapon brandished, at first. However, once she realized the man before her wasn't hostile, she gave a nod to him. "Good day to you, sir..." She said politely.

"Hey Injiki." Ahatake grinned.

Ryuuka didn't answer the question directly. But he looked over the woman carefully, who seemed to wince slightly under the stare. A corner of his mouth sank slightly. "Oh. I see you've got yourself a new wife already?" He commented lightly, though with an indifferent edge to his voice. This caused Megami's eyes to widen, and he almost smiled at her frantic reaction.

"N...no! I'm not his wife!"

"Could've fooled me, with you clinging onto him like that."

At that moment, she realized she was still hanging on to the Kurosaki. Immediately, she let go, her face as red as a tomato out of the sheer embarrassment she was feeling. "S...sorry..." She muttered, rubbing the back of her head insecurely. How could she have been stupid enough not to release him? Stupid, stupid, stupid!

Ahatake chuckled. "There's no need to get so flustered."

"Injiki Ryuuka's my name." The Injiki greeted, raising his free hand up out of his pocket and extending it to her. She looked at it hesitantly for a split second, before she reached out and grasped it in a handshake. "Good to meet you...miss...." He trailed off, purposefully, in order for her to tell her own name... which she did.

"Megami. Kirisaki Megami."

"Injiki we're here to see Midoriko." Ahatake explained, in case Ryuka was wondering why they were there. "God knows she's here."

"Well, duh, God--" Though Ryuuka knew what he meant, he pointed at himself as if to state that he was the one Ahatake was referring to.. "knows she's here. Two of 'em do, actually..." He promptly stepped inside and beside the doorway, allowing for the two to step through. "All you interrupted was a sparring session between me and my wife. Your kid's upstairs with the baby."

"Alright." Ahatake said. "We'll say hi to Kyashi before we leave."

Megami was the first to step into the doors. She took a look around, marveling at the old quality of the house itself. "Wow..." She said in admiration. "So frontier-like... and yet, so modern... how'd you manage to get a house like this?" She was certain it cost a lot of money to have such an individual home. Ryuka smiled in a small way.

"We had a lot of money to get it."

Ahatake sighed. "I've yet to get what you see in a place like this Injiki." Ahatake gestured around the house.

"Ey..." Ryuuka leaned against the wall, giving Ahatake a rather annoyed stare. "We all can't be rich, technological nerds like you. How about you shut up and go look after your kid?" Though the words seemed harsh, he was speaking in a friendly tone as he said them, meaning no hostility.

Ahatake laughed, but made no reply as he began to ascend the stairs.

Sure enough, as the two entered the infant's room, they saw Midoriko play around with a rather enthusiastic Kibou, who seemed to be enjoying her company. Megami smiled at the scene, though she didn't say anything yet. Such a sight was rather warming in the midst of a family, especially one she had just gotten to know.

Ahatake cleared his throat and Midoriko looked up, stopping her game with Kibou as she did so. She picked the child up and walked over to Ahatake and Megami. "Hey Tou-san!" She said smiling. Then she looked at Megami. "Hello. My name is Midoriko Megami Kurosaki." She introduced herself to the woman.

"Kirisaki Megami." The kimono-clad woman bowed respectfully, squinting her eyes and smiling right back at her. "Pleased to meet you, Mido-chan."

Midoriko smiled. "Nice to meet you as well". "You Tou-san's new girlfriend?" She asked, grinning.

"You're quite perceptive!" The woman exclaimed. "As a matter of fact, I am."

"Well Tou-san picked a pretty one then." Midoriko said, grinning.

"Your niece said the very same thing..." Megami commented, remembering Aoi's statement from before. "Thank you for the compliment." Was she really that pretty? She had never paid that much attention to herself, and certainly wasn't narcissistic, but she did try to look her best for everyone. Maybe it was working...

"What do you think of Tou-san so far?" Midoriko asked, delighted at the prospect of someone new around.

"Oh, he's been really nice..." Megami assured her. "A real gentlemen! Couldn't have asked for anyone better."

That made Ahatake grin, and Midoriko smiled. "Yeah, Tou-san is like that." She set Kibou down, to allow him to move as he pleased. "So when are you guys getting married?" She asked brightly.

"W...we haven't decided on that." Megami's first reaction was to get flustered again, but she remembered Ahatake's words. She kept her composure, although the blush was still obvious. She folded her arms across her chest, trying to hide her insecurity.

Ahatake laughed, but turned to look at Midoriko. "Don't ask things like that." He said reprovingly.

"Sorry Tou-san, I couldn't resist." Midoriko said grinning. "Besides, she looks really cute when she gets flustered like that."

Ahatake chuckled. "I think we should be going now."

"Already?" Megami asked, surprised by the sudden change of direction. But she was willing to comply. "All right...."

"Alright." Midoriko said, as she began looking around for Kibou. "I'll see you all later tonight then."

"Alright." Ahatake replied, taking Megami's hand as they left the room.

This time, when they reached the living room area, they encountered both the blonde wife and the black-haired man sitting on the couch, their eyes looking up in recognition and greeting. "Leaving already?" Ryuuka asked dryly, quirking an eyebrow. "Though, I'm not encouraging you to stay longer, obviously..."

"Obviously." Ahatake responded. He looked at Kyashi. "Megami this is Kyashi, Ryuka Injiki's wife and kinda of the whole reason my family moved here."

"Hm?" The blonde woman looked up at her for a moment before giving her own small smile, as well as a nod of acknowledgement. "Oh, right. Good to see you, and good to have you around, Megami." The red-head gave a smile of her own of return, though hers was much more obvious.

"We're going now." Ahatake replied. "See ya around Injiki."

"Yeah, yeah..."

Ahatake smiled at Megami. "Here we go." He said, shortly before they vanished into another burst of flames, again with the uncomfortable canon ball feeling, and reappeared on the beach. The sun was setting once again, but this time the beach was empty.

It was just as if they had just met.

Had the Kurosaki managed to predict the time of this? That was the question going on through Megami's mind as she looked out into the ocean waters. "I never really noticed it before..." She commented, her voice soft and gentle as the waters themselves. "But this is a really breath-taking view..." She kept her arms around Ahatake's own, admiring the scene before her.

Ahatake gripped her arm. "It is." Was all he could say.

"And a perfect time to say I love you, don't you think?"

Ahatake smiled. "Yes." Taking another look at the sun, he turned to Megami. "Megami, I love you." The words seemed to come out with ease, and were accompanied by a strange feeling, like that of a soft waterfall washing over him.

That was when the woman released her hold on Ahatake's arm, her hands lifting themselves to Ahatake's cheeks. "I love you too, Ahatake." She whispered, before she closed her eyes and leaned in. Her lips pressed themselves against his own in a passionate kiss. For her, the sharing of their love was bliss, and a feeling of ectasy came over her as she made her move.

Ahatake responded quickly and slightly aggressively.

It was the beginning of a new chapter in both their lives.

The End

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