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25 December 2009 @ 01:01 am
What Dreams May Come  
Title: What Dreams May Come
Fandom: Bleach
Character/Pairing: Kurosaki Kaien, Kurosaki Hisana
Rating: G
Prompt: Dreams
Disclaimer: Kaien and Hisana are mine, while Bleach and it's associated canon characters belong to Kubo Tite. I merely borrow them.

Glancing at the clock, Hisana frowned, black brows drawing together over hazel eyes as she lifted the spoon to her lips to taste the sauce. Almost ready, it tasted fine, though it would need to simmer for another 20 minutes or so. Brushing a stray strand of ebony hair back from her face, she sighed and set the spoon down in the ceramic rest on the stove before placing the lid back on the pot. Turning back towards the living room, she untied the apron from around her waist, pulling the loop off of her neck and stepping into the doorway, brushing dust off of her purple sweater-dress.
"Dinner's almost ready, I'll go find Kaien-nii."
Her mother glanced up from the manga she was reading, violet eyes scanning the room for a moment as though Rukia hadn't even been aware of her eldest offspring's absence, before nodding. From the other chair there was a scoff as a near-identical head of black hair shifted and Masaki raised her head from the cushion, attention drawn from the TV as amethyst irises regarded her twin sister.
"He's probably dawdling. He was supposed to be back 20 minutes ago."
Frowning, Hisana shook her head, mentally logging Masaki's complaint with the scores of other barbs and jibes against their older brother that her sister had already tossed at her. Masaki and Kaien had never gotten along -- friends of their family always remarked, rather amusedly, that watching the two elder Kurosaki siblings fight was almost like watching their parents in younger days -- and while Kaien was for the most part ambivalent, Masaki never seemed to miss the opportunity to land another hit on her brother.
She on the other hand, was very close to Kaien, and was carefully mindful of that relationship. Her mother had remarked one day, when Hisana had been much younger, that perhaps the reason the two of them got along so well was because Hisana the most out of all of her siblings understood Kaien. Where Masaki was antagonistic, and Renji resentful, Hisana adored her mercurial elder brother, often content to simply be near him and just let him be the enigmatic and often moody boy that he was.
Pulling her pale pink coat from the peg, Hisana tossed her hair over her shoulder, balancing against the doorframe as she slipped her feet into her boots.
"I'll be back before dinner's done. The sauce just has to simmer. If the timer goes off before I get back, just turn off the burner."
"Alright, burner off when it dings. Got it."
Turning her head at the new voice, Hisana couldn't help the sigh of relief at seeing her father's familiar face. He'd make certain the house didn't burn down and that nothing untowards happened to dinner. He reached out a large hand to ruffle his younger daughter's hair, the faintest ghost of a smile on his normally scowling face before he snagged the other apron -- the one that wasn't ruffled -- from the peg, tossing the strap over his head. He smirked, raising an eyebrow and nodding his head towards his wife and daughter sprawled on the furniture in front of the television, attention focused on the flashing colours and chirpy voices of the winter Chappy special they had both been waiting for. Raising his voice in an obvious ploy to aggravate them, he called over his shoulder.

"I'll take care of it because otherwise we'd have blackened crispy mystery food for dinner."

Hisana watched as her mother and sister responded exactly as she'd have expected, giggling and ducking out the door as the familiar bickering started up again. Stepping carefully across the pebbled walkway her father had put in -- Ichigo had proven to have a surprisingly good eye for landscaping -- she mounted the staircase to the wooden back deck, reaching up to tug on the polished wood handle that hung down at roughly shoulder-level for her father and was barely within reach of her stretching fingertips. Her parents had put the handle at that height for the express purpose of keeping those too young to reach it away from it. But... that was where Kaien was, despite what her sister was dead-set on insinuating.

Pressing lips together in concentration, Hisana stood up on tiptoe so she could curl her fingers around the handle before pulling on it, grunting slightly with the effort as the mechanism creaked and the ladder slid down. Once it's wooden feet were resting securely against the wood of the deck, she tossed her long braid of hair over her shoulders and climbed up, shivering slightly in the evening's chill. When she reached the top of the ladder, pulling herself carefully up onto the roof, her brother was exactly where she'd expected him to be. Sprawled on his back across the tiles, arms folded behind his orange head, staring up at the sky overhead. The loaf of french bread lay beside him, it's length still swathed in the plastic bag from the grocery store.

"Kaien-nii, dinner's almost ready."

Sighing slightly, the twelve-year old carefully made her way across the roof to sit down beside the lanky form of her brother, drawing knees up to her chest and looping sweater-clad arms around them. He was brooding again, something that he tended to do fairly often, his eyes that strange shade of teal they assumed when he'd been engaged in a rapt conversation with his Hollow. That was the one thing about her beloved Kaien-nii that Hisana felt she could never truly understand. Kaien didn't fear his Hollow, not the way she -- and to an extent, her mother -- feared their otherselves. To him, the Hollow was a partner, a companion, perhaps... even a friend. Brushing a stray strand of hair behind her ear, Hisana leaned back slightly and watched the darkening sky, absently counting stars as she did so. Something was bothering her brother, that much was evident from the fact that he had barely acknowledged her presence since she'd sat down. Not that she really considered such things a problem. Of all of his siblings, she was the one that Kaien talked to the most, that he confided in. He'd talk to her.

Her confidence was rewarded after a few moments, as her brother sighed and shifted his weight, his eyes shifting back to their normal deep violet as he glanced at her, the momentary flash of fondness in his gaze dimmed by whatever was bothering him. Sitting up, he raked one hand through spiky orange fringe in a gesture that only served to make him look even more like their father.

"Hisana... you ever wonder what it'd be like to not ever have to worry about what other people think? What they want? What they think you should do or be?"

She nodded slowly, already relatively certain where the source of his mood lay. Everyone knew -- or at least had some idea or opinion to the fact -- that Kurosaki Kaien was being groomed to one day succeed his father as captain of the Seireitei Specialty Fourteenth Division; V-div for short. Regardless of the fact that their father had never stated as much, and that neither parent had ever put any sort of pressure on their eldest child to perform accordingly, it was simply an understood fact.

But no one, at least not anyone that she knew of, had ever thought to ask Kaien what he wanted out of his life.

"What do you want to do, Kaien-nii?"

He shrugged, shoulders shifting beneath the brown and cream patterning of his sweater before he leaned back, resting his weight on his hands.

"I dunno, really. I guess I just... want to be me, you know? To not have to live up to anyone's expectations, or worry about what other people think I should do. Just to be able to make my own choices, and do what's right for me."

He paused for a moment, as though contemplating even deeper.

"...I don't want to be Dad."

Sighing slightly, Hisana scooted closer, leaning over to rest her head against her brother's shoulder, the silver clip at the end of her braid clinking softly against the tiles of the roof. She'd noticed it, even if no one else had; how intangible expectations -- even ones from people they didn't even know -- weighed on her brother's shoulders. How the unspoken understanding of what his future would entail only served to exacerbate the thick tensions between Kaien and their father. How his other siblings reacted to it; Masaki angry and standoffish that the brother she couldn't stand would be given such an important task, Renji hurt and resentful that the older brother in whose shadow he often found himself didn't even want what Renji would have been overjoyed to have. And while their mother never seemed to have any specific designs on her offsprings' future, they all knew their father -- whether intentionally or not -- expected more from Kaien than he did his other children. Maybe it was simply because Kaien was the child with whom Ichigo had the most strained relationship and ironically... was the child most like him. Or perhaps it was simply because -- and she could say this without envy -- Kaien was the strongest of them. The most talented, the most capable. And in her opinion, he would be the best choice for the role.

But that hardly mattered if it wasn't what Kaien wanted. Closing her eyes as her brother automatically draped an arm around her shoulders when she shivered from the night air, Hisana took a deep breath. It smelled like snow, even though the sky was still clear. She could hope, though, and she would do so, and maybe they would have a white Christmas this year.

"Kaien-nii.... I think you should be whatever you want to be. If you have dreams, then you should follow them, and not let anyone else tell you otherwise. Mom and Dad.... I don't think they'd ever make you do something that made you unhappy, so.... you shouldn't worry so much. Besides.... you're my big brother. I'll love you no matter what."

It wasn't much, and she wasn't really sure if it would help or not, but it seemed to as his mood lifted a bit and he smiled, tightening his arm around her shoulders for a moment before snagging the handles of the plastic bag. Climbing to his feet, he proffered a hand to her, pulling her to her feet as well.

"Thanks, Hisana."

Staring for a moment, her face broke into a wide smile as she nodded. Small or not, at least her words seemed to have helped.