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30 November 2008 @ 11:54 am
Title: Facsimile
Character: Kuchiki Rukia
Pairing: Kuchiki Rukia x Aaroneiro Arleiri
Author: tasogaretaichou
Rating: PG-13
Prompt: Disoriented
Warnings: Just heavy on the mind-fucking and other such stuff. Spoilers for up to the Hueco Mundo arc, then from there it basically takes a "way things could have gone" path.
Summary: How can you know what's real when the past resurrects itself in front of you?

At first, it had felt strange. Not strange in the way that she might have expected, the oddity of the situation being somewhat lost amidst the shaky haze of familiarity and shock that rippled up as he slipped the porcelain mask from his face, revealing the familiar visage of one she had thought long-since lost. No, the strangeness had come from the sudden rush of warmth, the faint curve of a smile that had hovered unbidden at the corners of her mouth. The almost childlike giddiness that swelled up within her at the sudden image of that wide grin, those green eyes beneath their familiar shock of black hair.

Emotions that she shouldn't have felt. Not because they weren't there, hadn't been there for years, despite the thick and filmy coating of dust that layered those mental shelves where she kept them safe and protected. No, she shouldn't have felt them because this man, this man standing in front of her, was her enemy. His form was the form that stood between her and her goal, her and her aim, that of Inoue's rescue. He was the immovable object, where she was meant to be the unstoppable force that would rise against him in that melody of eternal conflict. Only, this time she was meant to keep that conflict from it's eternal path.

She was meant to stop him.

And in truth, that had indeed been her original plan. How could it not be, when defeating him was the right path, the path that lead to their ultimate goal, and to Inoue's safety. And so she'd taken up her blade at first, the white sword gripped so carefully in shaking hands, violet eyes staring down the one who had once been her teacher, once been her friend.... once been a man she'd loved.

But seldom is it that the plans we make turn out exactly as we would wish them to.

At least, that was the vagrant thought that slipped through her mind as she fought, knowing -- amidst guilt and shame abounding -- that her strikes were pulled, that in spite of all the knowledge, all the reasoning she could give to herself, one cruel and brutal fact remained amidst all the arguements and decrees to the contrary; she couldn't kill him. And not due to lack of ability -- perhaps that played a part -- but in truth because she could not bring herself to kill him.

Not again.

Even as she felt the hot, stinging trickle of blood against her skin, crimson seeping from numerous cuts and injuries, the hotter rush of shame was the harder sting to bear. Pressing up hot and heavy, forcing it's way past her resolve to wind sinuously around the familiarity that refused to back down, refused to lay silent and dormant in the back of her mind and simply allow her to do what she knew must be done.

She could try to force it back, to remind herself that this was not him, that this enemy in front of her was not the teacher she'd loved, the leader she'd followed. But even that would be all for naught, because deny it though she might, the one who she could not deny was herself. The feelings within her, the surety that despite the turmoil in her heart, despite the horror at the realization, this was Kaien.

He hadn't killed her. Not that she knew that, but it didn't matter to him. In truth, the only reason he hadn't had been because of some simple whim, some little glimmer of interest that she had sparked in him, this woman who fought so valiently and yet so reservedly, never quite able to commit to the killing stroke. Oh he knew why, he had all of the memories, all of the knowledge gained from that shinigami that Metastacia had devoured stored within his own self. And in a twisted way, he had to admire such loyalty as she showed to the man whose face he wore. Enough admiration that perhaps he should allow such loyalty to continue.

It wasn't as though she would ever be that same person again. No, not after the way he'd seen her break, the way her eyes now glazed over, their deep violet obscured by the haze that came not from death -- at least, not the typical sort -- but from the death of something deeper, something more profound. The sort of death that kills the soul and not the body. As this woman now was. Watching, he couldn't help the slight grin as the small figure eased herself to her feet, swaying in disorientation amidst the bloodstained and ice-blasted battleground that his dark chamber had become. Indeed, she would certainly be useful to him.

Striding over, his form again that of the man she trusted, the man she had loved, he reached out to rest a bloodied hand on the top of her head with a grin. After a moment, dazedly, as though still not certain where she was, the shinigami raised her face to him, blanked violet eyes unfocused and far away. And, he surmised, she likely was. Lost far away, fractured mind having locked itself away from the horrors that faced her now, from the unthinkable task of killing -- yet again -- one whose death she already carried with a heavy heart, unwilling to bear the burden a second time. And so she'd broken, shattered into a frail shadow, a mere shell of the person she once was.

A perfect tool.

As those eyes studied him for a moment, he resisted the urge to grin even more as her battered and blank face spread into an almost innocent smile of childish adoration and relief at seeing her "hero" again. Yes, she would be the perfect tool. With a slight chuckle, he ruffled her black hair.

"Good to see you again, Kuchiki."
Psyche: optimisticoptimistic