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27 November 2008 @ 01:21 pm
Day 15 - Outside Objections  
Another one for 30_kisses, I really wish I could manage to write these in order, so I could post them as a chunk, but I guess any readers will just have to wait for them to be finished, so I can order them. ^__^

Title: Day 15 - Outside Objections
Author/Artist: tasogaretaichou
Pairing: Kurosaki Ichigo x Kuchiki Rukia
Fandom: Bleach
Theme: #2 - news/letter
Disclaimer: Bleach =/= mine.

"Oi, Rukia. Wanna go downtown and-"

Rounding the corner to the livingroom, Ichigo stopped short at the sight of Rukia standing there, small hand holding what looked like a letter, it's thick paper creased as it would have been had it come out of the envelope lying discarded at her feet. An envelope bearing a seal he immediately recognized, one that made him swallow a little thicker than me might have done so otherwise. Not so much because of the seal itself -- it was just a seal, just ink printed on paper, nothing threatening about that -- but because he, Kurosaki Ichigo, knew perfectly well where that particular seal came from, and that knowledge was enough to make him want to turn tail and retreat in a very un-Ichigo-like manner at the moment.

Courage and bravery and all those things be damned, there was no way in hell he wanted to be anywhere in the vicinity of things if that was the seal he thought it was -- it was, but denial could be a very powerful tool -- not only because he just didn't want to deal with the crap that was certain to erupt, but also because he rather enjoyed his life and wasn't keen on the idea of vacating his place in it anytime soon. Though not for the usual reasons -- liking being alive, dreams left unfulfilled, etc -- but rather, because death would land him right where he didn't want to be. Constantly forced to deal with and live under the rather -- he was convinced -- displeased eye of -

"It's from Nii-sama"

An involuntary shudder traversed his spine as he ground his teeth together. Damn. She'd caught him, noticed his approach -- hell, when didn't she notice, who was he kidding? -- and dropped the proverbial bombshell.

Kuchiki Byakuya. Her stick-up-his-ass brother, with his fancy hair and stuck-up attitude, not to mention the fact he still hadn't forgiven the bastard for almost letting Rukia be executed, OR the fact that he was relatively certain that while he was already on the stoic captain's death list, he would soon be moved to the top of it, hell perhaps even given a priority "kill on sight" listing. And for one very real, very concrete reason.

He, Kurosaki Ichigo, a human -- not to mention one of the people he was certain Kuchiki Byakuya despised above all else -- had dared to step over the line that, while it had never been laid out plainly for him, had unmistakably been there even before he'd thought about crossing it -- cross it, hell he'd demolished it -- and actually put his hands on Byakuya's precious sister. Ruthlessly he crushed that portion of his mind that wryly spoke up that he'd put more than his hands on her, and concentrated on forcing the lump out of his throat. Yes, he was very likely going to die soon, and while that same rebellious portion of his mind was momentarily lamenting that it was so completely unfair to die a virgin, the rest of his mind was torn between the stubborn outrage and thought that Byakuya could just go shove it somewhere, and the woeful realization that it was most certainly about the gayest thing one could possibly do to die via a cluster of pink flower petals.

Swallowing again, he managed to force most -- but not all -- of the trepidation off of his face to lope over to where Rukia stood, brown eyes regarding the letter in her hand as though it were a poisonous snake poised to strike at him. Shoving hands in his pockets, he adopted a tone of disinterested curiosity, chewing thoughtfully -- no, it WASN'T because he was scared shitless -- on his lower lip and looming over her shoulder.

"Oh? What's he want?"

Ok, that was good. He'd managed to keep his voice at exactly the same bored/irritated/unpleased tone that he normally used whenever the subject of her brother came up, so at least he was keeping his face in the situation. Though he wasn't sure it was working as Rukia glanced up at him, her own expression slightly worried, and handed the stiff piece of parchment to him with a shrug.

"To see you, apparently."

Oh no. This was NOT good. Mostly because there was only one reason that he could think of why Rukia's uptight older brother would want to see him, and that was not someplace he wanted to go. Honestly, what he assumed it was about -- that is to say, Ichigo's wantonly heathen actions towards Byakuya's little sister -- was right up there with root canals and eating Rukia's cooking and other such horrifying things. He took the letter gingerly, as though it were some plagued and rotting piece of flesh, and let his eyes run over the flat black ink with no small amount of distaste. She was right, it was for him -- he hadn't put it past the midget to play some sort of sick joke on him like that -- and it said exactly what she'd told him. That one Kuchiki Byakuya required -- damn, the man couldn't even make it seem like less of an order, could he? -- his presence for a matter of discussion of the utmost importance, and that any delays in his acquiessing to said summons would only serve to make the matter at hand more severe.

Yeah, he was gonna die. And not even in some glorious, dignified manner like he'd -- in his head, nowhere where anyone could see -- envisioned since he was a kid. No, he was going to be gutted by gay-tarded pink cherry blossoms. Brilliant. He might as well start writing his will, seeing as these were going to be his last few hours on this earth.

His musings were interrupted by the impact of a small foot against his shin. Obviously, she'd said something and he'd been too lost in thought to notice -- or it had just been something unimportant -- and she'd taken offense to it. Wincing, he glared down at her with a growl.

"The hell was that for, midget?"

Scowling, Rukia crossed her arms over her chest and rolled her eyes. Idiot. He hadn't been paying attention to her. Again. Probably contemplating his fate, if she knew him. And unfortunately, this time she couldn't necessarily deny that at least part of what he was likely thinking about was true. She honestly couldn't really think of many reasons why her brother would send for Ichigo, and the reason most closely at the forefront of her mind was not a good one. At least, not good in regards to her brother. If that were true... it would mean that somehow, he'd found out about them.

Unlike Ichigo, Rukia didn't really think her brother would actually kill the orange-head. Hell, if he'd wanted to do that, he'd have had numerous opportunities to do so between now and the time the two had initially met. Though she wasn't going to mention it to Ichigo -- it was pointless to even try and convince him her brother didn't want his head on a pike -- it was Rukia's opinion that her brother maintained at least a passing degree of respect for the young man, likely more than either of them would willingly admt to. But that was beside the point. The point right now, was that if her brother did know about the two of them, would that lingering respect hold, or would he do everything in his considerable power to keep it from happening.

"Because you weren't listening to me, blockhead!"

Tapping her foot, she chewed on her lip for a moment before uncrossing her arms with a sigh. There was really no getting around it, he'd just have to go. Raising an eyebrow, she rummaged in her pocket and pulled out the little purple dispenser with it's smiling rabbit's face. Pressing on the top of Chappy's head, she popped the ginkongan into her mouth, swallowing it and closing her eyes at the pulse of reiatsu as she felt herself effortlessly shoved back out of the gigai, the familiar weight of her shihakushou settling around her, Sode no Shirayuki's length resting against her hip. Reaffixing her gaze on his startled brown eyes, she gave another mildly disgusted sigh and drew the blade, holding it in front of her and mentally chanting the necessary phrase.

"I said that you'd better go now, before he gets mad."

Before he had time to object -- or really do much else, for that matter -- she'd grabbed his momentarily-discarded badge from the corner of his dresser, and as the gateway opened up in front of her, she pressed a quick kiss to his lips, and clapped the flat wood against his forehead, turning only slightly to lever a foot against his spiritual posterior and send him flying through the portal amidst a string of protests. Resheathing Shirayuki, she simply watched as the gateway closed and faded away, leaving the room dark again.

His first thought, well first one he had after the rather uncomfortable collision of his face with the ground, was that his girlfriend -- ok, he could call her that now, just... not out loud -- was really the most insufferable little bitch he'd ever met, comprised with the sudden curiosity of what he'd done to deserve this crap. Oh yeah. He'd decided to get involved with the sister of the most stuck-up, prissy, uptight captain in all of Seireitei. Scowling and getting to his feet, brushing dust off of his shihakushou, Ichigo shook his head and looked around, rolling his eyes in momentary woe at the fact that said girlfriend had thought it so kind -- or perhaps twisted -- to send him crashing to the ground directly in front of his destination, as the arched and imposing gates of the Kuchiki manor loomed directly in front of him, somehow managing to look even more forbidding than they ever had before.

Gulping past his tonsils -- that had to be the lump in his throat, right? -- he hooked thumbs through the sash on his shihakushou and made his way up to the doorway. The usual house servants met him at the door, and simply ushered him along as though they'd been awaiting his arrival -- hell, they probably had been -- until they reached their destination in front of a door that looked -- to him at least -- the same as all the other doors in this huge place. The only real difference was the reiatsu he could feel on the other side. Sliding open the door with a last gulp -- he was walking to his doom, after all -- he strode into the room, brown eyes easily finding the other man seated at the desk in the center.

"You wanted to see me, Byakuya?"

Byakuya felt the vein in his forehead twitch at the insolent -- but when was Kurosaki ever NOT disrespectful -- pup address him so familiarly, but ignored it for a moment as he finished the particular piece of paperwork he was writing up. That finished, he pushed it aside carefully before folding his hands on the polished wood surface and settling his gaze on his "guest". He'd never liked Kurosaki, not from the moment that the arrogant youth had stubbornly defied him when he'd arrived with Renji to take Rukia back where she rightfully belonged. He thought he'd left the whelp dead in the rain that night, and it had been a rather unpleasent and distasteful surprise to learn otherwise. And his dislike of Kurosaki had only increased as the boy had fought his way through Soul Society, defying Byakuya at every turn.

But... as much as he disliked Kurosaki, he couldn't deny one thing. The boy cared. He cared a great deal for the younger sister that Byakuya had never really known how to show love to, even moreso perhaps than Renji -- he was well aware that his vicecaptain had been in love with Rukia for years -- cared enough to defy all of Seireitei, all of the Gotei-13 in order to keep her safe. In order to do what he, Kuchiki Byakuya, by all rights should have been doing. Should have been doing, and yet hadn't. And that was something that the captain of the sixth division would live with for all his days. But that was beside the point.

Dislike or lingering respect for the boy was a moot point in light of what he'd recently discovered. That Kurosaki Ichigo, that boy who had dared to defy them all, was courting his sister. That Rukia had responded favourably to the Kurosaki boy's advances hadn't surprised him, not really. Despite what he may have liked to think, Byakuya was no fool, nor was he a stranger to matters of the heart. He'd seen the shine in her eyes when she spoke of the youth, the way her face changed when he was nearby. Love wasn't something that tended to stick to rules and boundaries, and he knew that, but that didn't change the fact that there were rules and boundaries that needed to be obeyed. Which was where he came in.

Cutting directly to the point -- and also because he'd gained enough satisfaction from watching Kurosaki squirm under his cold glare -- he fixed the boy with another look.

"Kurosaki, you will tell me now, honestly, what your intentions are towards Rukia."

Well damn, there went any chance that this might have been about something else. And damn that Byakuya for catching him off-guard like that. Sputtering slightly, he leveled a glare at the captain, crossing his arms over his chest. It wasn't any of Byakuya's damn business what they did, and it was time the stuck-up prat knew it.

"None of your damn business! It's between Rukia and me."

What he got was the barest narrowing of eyes before Byakuya vanished, reappearing directly in front of him, the point of Senbonzakura painfully obvious against his throat.

"I will not ask again, Kurosaki. I wish to know what your intentions are towards my sister. Is she a plaything to you? Or are your intentions honourable, motivated by emotions other than simple childish lust? Should I find your answer to be unsuitable, do not think that I will not deal with you in a manner befitting one such as you."

Ok, so maybe talking back and telling the Kuchiki head what he actually thought wasn't in the best of interests. Ichigo swallowed slowly, conscious -- how could he NOT be -- of the cool press of steel against his larynx, carrying with it the promise of exactly what Byakuya would do should he decide that Ichigo posed a threat to his sister.

Honestly, he had to give the man a little credit. No matter what may have happened in the past -- Rukia didn't really talk about it much, but he'd gotten a vague idea -- she was still his sister, and Ichigo honestly didn't see how any man, even a stuffed-shirt like Byakuya, could not want to protect his little sister. Especially from someone they didn't like, someone they were worried would hurt said little sister. And neither could he deny that were it Karin or Yuzu in question, he'd probably be doing the same thing that Byakuya was. Just... maybe without the sword. Ok, so yeah he'd probably still use the sword, just to get his point across.

Swallowing again, he shook his head -- as much as he dared, without cutting his own throat -- brown eyes glaring at Byakuya. Plaything? Of course she wasn't just that! She was... he wasn't really sure how to describe it, but she sure as hell wasn't just some plaything!

"She's not just a plaything!"

His angry outburst seemed to satisfy Byakuya somewhat, because Senbonzakura's point eased itself away from his throat enough that he could at least talk without the worry of finding himself speaking through his throat. Glaring stubbornly back at his "adversary", he raised his chin slightly, as if daring Byakuya to push the issue further.

He had to give the boy credit. Even in the face of possible death, Kurosaki showed the same sort of gumption he'd always shown, the same stubborness and unwillingness to back down. In truth... it was admirable, though the captain wasn't about to admit it to anyone, least of all the selfsame Kurosaki. But he could give a little leeway, despite what others often thought. Lowering his zanpakutou slightly, he nodded gravely, eyes never leaving Ichigo's.

"Very well. Then if she is not a plaything to you, then what is she? A passing fancy, something to while away the time? A phase, perhaps, something that you will grow tired of and cast aside? Or do your intentions concern something longer, something stronger and more permanent? Do you plan to marry her? Kurosaki... do you love her?"

Ok, this was getting a bit intense for his taste. He could see where Byakuya was coming from, but marriage?! Hell, they'd only been a true couple for a little over 2 weeks and this prick was talking about marriage? Swallowing against the sudden rush of nervousness, he tried to find the words -- ones that wouldn't get his throat cut. Not so much because he wanted to convince Byakuya, but because he'd realized... he didn't really know the answer to the question. What were his intentions? What was Rukia to him?

She certainly wasn't a plaything, nor just a pastime to keep him occupied momentarily. He hated guys that treated girls like that, like they were something to be used and exploited and then just tossed aside like yesterday's garbage. Besides, that wasn't what you did to a girl you cared about, a girl you.... you loved. He felt the cold knot come up in his stomach as his mind savoured the word. Love. He understood it, could even admit -- at times -- to himself that he felt it. Admitting it to someone else though... that was different. That was something he wasn't really sure how to do. Hell, he couldn't even admit it to her, how the hell was he going to admit it to her brother?


Dammit, why couldn't this be easier? Gritting his teeth, he mentally wished Byakuya would just vanish, mildly irritated when the man didn't oblige, and closed his eyes for a moment. Of course he loved her. It wasn't something he really had to think about, it just... well, it just was. Like the way the sky was blue or Hollows were bad or any of the other "truths" in his world. Now if he could just put it into words. Or... at least some semblance of words. Swallowing, he tried again.

"I..... I don't know what my "ultimate intentions" are. I just.... I know it's not just something that's gonna go away. And... I don't WANT it to just go away. I don't know if it's something long-term or not, but I..... if it came down to.... to that.... I'd definitely consider it...."

Hopefully that sounded better to someone else then it did to him. Otherwise, he was relatively certain that he was screwed and that he was about to be bidding his head goodbye. Cracking open one eye slightly, he regarded Byakuya's face, watching the emotionless visage as it -- expectedly -- didn't change. Yup, he was dead. Or at least, that was what he thought until Byakuya simply nodded slightly and stepped back, resheathing his sword.

"Very well then, Kurosaki. I will give you permission to court Rukia. However, understand this. Should you hurt her, in any way. Should you make her cry, or cast her aside flagrantly, or treat her in any way less than that which she deserves, there will be no hell deep enough for you to hide in. You are dismissed."

And with that, he turned and strode from the room, leaving a very stunned and somewhat confused boy behind. Smiling slightly to himself as he headed down the hallway, Byakuya slipped his hand into the inside pocket of his haori and pulled out a small, slightly worn hairpin, it's violet-gemmed flower smooth and polished. Running his thumb over the familiar gem, he closed his eyes.

I think you would have approved of him, Hisana. Approved of your sister's choice.
Psyche: artisticartistic
imperialmog on November 27th, 2008 11:39 pm (UTC)
I liked this fic like your others. It does answer one of the interesting aspects of the IchiRuki pairing in how would Rukia's brother react to them going out. Got me thinking of how my own little sister is since she's getting married in six months and I wanted to make sure the guy isn't a jerk.

I also am wondering when you are online and wanting to talk? I see you online but I don't know if you really are on? You can reach me whenever I am so if you want to talk to me. I had some things to ask you since whenever I do get a new job, I was thining of maybe adopting a cat and wanted your thoughts on it.
Neko-taichoutasogaretaichou on November 28th, 2008 03:14 am (UTC)
Thank you. As for being online, my IM is generally always on, but that doesn't mean I'm here.

Awesome, I'd be happy to give you some kitty advice.
tomoyohime8tomoyohime8 on November 28th, 2008 12:57 am (UTC)
still as brilliant as ever, XD♥

they're all so vvery IC, and the hairpin scene was heartwarming. >^_^
Neko-taichoutasogaretaichou on November 28th, 2008 03:15 am (UTC)
thank you, I thought it would be fitting for Bya to keep some small keepsake of Hisana.