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05 December 2008 @ 10:14 pm
Strategic Reasoning  
Another one for 10_whores, I'm REALLY hoping to finish this up either tonight or tomorrow, then I can get back to A. working on other challenges and B. working on SoS, ADROS, and UP. Either way, this one was a bit tricky. The "pairing" aspect of it doesn't really focus so strongly on the romantic, but then Kisuke would be rather OOC if I'd done that.


Title: Strategic Reasoning
Character: Kuchiki Rukia
Pairing: Kuchiki Rukia x Urahara Kisuke
Author: tasogaretaichou
Rating: PG
Prompt: Freedom
Warnings: Not many spoilers, mostly just for the Soul Society arc
Summary: Kisuke always has reasons for everything he does, they're just sometimes not what you might expect.



He always had his reasons, even if no one ever asked for them, or ever really cared to know them. It just made sense, because how many people really did things without any sort of reason at all behind them. If you'd asked Kisuke, he would have looked at you funny and pronounced you a very strange person indeed.

In fact, to Kisuke, it didn't always matter really what that reason was, so long as there was a reason. He reasoned that was one of the things about him that aggravated Yoruichi the most. But regardless of exactly </i>what</i> those reasons may have been, the fact did -- and always would -- remain that they were always his own reasons. Reasons that sometimes defied all senses of logic that anyone else brought to the table.

Sometimes the things that Kisuke did, quirky reasons notwithstanding, were easily decipherable. That is to say, that those around him could, with a relative degree of ease, figure out at least the most likely pathway of thought which had lead their unofficial "leader" to the destined point whereupon which he'd made this or that odd choice. It was in those instances that they would often sigh, and scratch their heads, and simply chalk it up to "well, that's Kisuke".

But even then, when they had him all figured out -- or at least, they thought they did -- there were often still layers beneath the ones they'd discovered. Like an onion, concealing itself within layer upon layer of protection and deception, never quite revealing all of itself to the world. It was a metaphor that he'd never minded, despite the fact that he'd made certain to act appropriately wounded when Tessai -- or was it Yoruichi? -- had suggested it. No, an onion suited him just fine.

He didn't mind that they didn't often understand the reasons behind the reasons, as that worked out just perfectly for him, allowing him to keep his innermost thoughts and feelings apart, revealed only to those whom he let into his confidence -- and those names were few.

Much like his reasonings that summer. The summer the ryoka had come to him, that first summer he'd been able to actually meet his friend's son, not to mention the others that Ichigo had brought with him. It wasn't even as though his reasons for involving himself were entirely pure -- they weren't -- or even because it was due to some debt he owed, not only to one of his oldest friends, but also to Aizen, for the treachery that had initially changed everything. No, his reasonings this time had, in his own opinion, been far simpler. At least, the the thinkings of most people. To Kisuke, it was a mystery why the fixation had struck him.

He'd noticed her when she first showed up, noticed her the same way that he noticed all the new shinigami that came to this place, all of the green recruits and conscripts fresh out of academy with barely any experience under their belt. They were all the same, and generally they all left in the same way. Reassigned to another post, killed off by Hollows, or sometimes just vanishing away with no sign they'd ever been there. It was the way of things, and it certainly wasn't as though he didn't understand that -- he did.

But her... she was different.

At first, he chalked his interest up to the simple fact that she wasn't like the others. Hell, she could barely handle herself, and honestly he wondered from time to time at first if Seireitei hadn't taken leave of their senses in their decision to send what someone who by all rights shouldn't even have been out of academy to take over the Karakura post. It just didn't make sense, until he'd learned her name.

Rukia. Kuchiki Rukia.

With those two words, a few pieces had fallen into place, and he'd grown to feel somewhat sorry for the misplaced child who he reasoned was now being expected to carry the weight of the Kuchiki clan's approval on her slender shoulders. But then, that made things make sense. While there were numerous people in Seireitei whom Kisuke wouldn't have put it past to stick such a green, barely-capable girl out this way, that family would have been at the top of his list. Mostly because -- at least as far as his knowledge of them went -- it would have been unseemly to have the girl NOT rushed through her schooling and placed into a position that frankly, she wasn't ready for.

Maybe it had been the simple fact that he felt sorry for her that had lead to the loose watch he kept over the girl. Or perhaps the curiosity that was stirred when he found out that she was the adopted daughter of the Kuchiki clan, rather than it's legitimate member. And a relief to him too, because he hadn't liked the thought that he was interested in what might have been Byakuya's daughter, seeing what he knew of the boy -- now man, obviously -- from his past. Either way, it didn't really matter. Whatever the reasons, he kept an eye on her, occasionally providing subtle aid to her -- never when she knew, or anything that she would have noticed -- as she did her job.

He watched her grow, and he had to admit that for such a green kid, she was a quick learner. Weaker with a sword, her kidou skills were formidable -- even if still juvenile in some ways -- and she was quick and sharp enough to compensate. But it wasn't even really her physical growth, or even the growth of her skills that was the drawing point for Kisuke. Instead, it was the way he watched her spirit grow.

Where first, he'd seen a frightened, somewhat overwhelmed girl, trying desperately to shoulder the emotionless and stern facade of the Kuchiki name, pushing aside her feelings and emotions and clinging to the doctrine that had invariably been impressed upon her, she was now a polished, accomplished shinigami who did her duty with the same ruthless efficiency that they all did.

Only.... that wasn't all that had changed.

He noticed it months before the fateful meeting with Kurosaki Ichigo, well before the orange-haired young man had even been a thought in her mind. Noticed the way she would sit on the rooftops during times when there weren't any Hollows. Noticed, even beyond the normalcy of those moments, the way she watched the denizens of Karakura. The way she studied them, and the way they went about their normal lives. He noticed, even if he knew she didn't, the way those dark violet eyes would deepen, their expression saddening just slightly, as of someone lost in a private regret.

Her history wasn't an unknown to him -- he still had resources, he just had to be more subtle about it -- and it wasn't as though he didn't know she'd grown up in Rukongai, had no true "family" save that of the one that had taken her in. Knew how she was childhood friends, schoolmates with the current 3rd seat -- and soon-to-be vice captain, if his guess was correct -- of the 6th division -- Kuchiki Byakuya's division -- and that she was an unseated in Ukitake's 13th division. What he didn't know, at least not in regards to records, he didn't need the records to see. Her face as she watched the people on the streets told him all of that.

Kuchiki Rukia... wanted to be human.

Kisuke was certain it wasn't anything that she was aware of, in fact had the idea been presented to her she'd probably have been horrified at the thought. But that didn't change the whistful way that she watched the humans, didn't take away the yearning that lurked there in the backs of her eyes. That yearning for the chance to experience what -- and he was reaching on this, but it was just a guess -- she hadn't likely had the chance to experience before. And that certainty, to him, made her all the more intriguing.

It wasn't until that one night, the night that his friend's son's power finally made itself known and Kuchiki Rukia was drawn into it, that he actually did anything about it.

He'd expected something to happen, been expecting it for years, since Isshin's human wife had lost her life to a Hollow drawn to the boy. At the time, Kisuke had wondered if he'd have to approach Isshin about the possibility of sealing the child, simply to protect him. But luckily -- for some people, at least -- little Ichigo's mind had done the job for him, subconsciously shutting that part of itself up for years, until it started to leak out again. But in spite of the fact that he'd, for all intents and purposes, been waiting for something to happen, he hadn't expected it to play out so well.

That night had been the time to make himself known. Not to Ichigo, but to her. That had been his thought -- or at least, one of them -- as he'd walked carefully through the drizzling rain, geta clacking softly against the concrete, umbrella in one hand, to stand in front of the waifish girl in the white kimono who sat almost dazedly beside the crumpled heap of human-turned-shinigami. She'd been startled at first, then suspicious -- not that he could blame her, afterall he was a strange man wandering around in the rain -- when he'd offered his aid.

It had worked out perfectly, though ultimately he'd been forced to reconcile that perhaps doing so without her knowledge had been a bit of a low blow. But it had been enough. The gigai had nearly succeeded in making her human, and had it been able to do so, it would have gained him his goal. That of having the Hougyoku sealed away forever withint the confines of her soul.

But beyond that, it would have given life to his other goal. The one he kept to himself, not so much because it was something to be ashamed of, but because there was no need to share it. Things may not have worked out as he'd intended them to, but in a way... they'd worked out for the better. Not because he'd succeeded, but because he'd been able to give her what he wanted to. To give her a taste of that life, of that world that she unknowingly craved. A taste of freedom.

Just that one little taste, so fleeting as it may have been, he'd hoped would be enough. Enough to make her see, to make her realize and perhaps even... enough to make her choose.

He might not have been able to give her that shadowed dream... but maybe he could give her the wings to fly to it herself.
 
 
Psyche: aggravatedaggravated