Reviews for Substitute Affections
OPgirl chapter 6 . 11/28
FIX IT FIC Substitute-Affections

Summary: To be married out of duty, can two people find a way to bridge the abyss before them? Byakuya x Rukia.
DISCLAIMER: I DON'T OWN BLEACH AND "SUBSTITUTE AFFECTIONS" BY Akane-Rei! I hope the original author don't mind my sluggish writing. I am an amateur writer, so please forgive my errors.-OPgirl
A/N: CREDITS TO BOTH Hoobastank, and Byakuchiki for his/her wonderful Song-fic, it inspired me to write this entry. The title of the song is The Reason by Hoobastank. Check it out pals!
Just a tip: I’ve combined two narration style; one is Byakuyas’ thought and the other one is narration. You can read only one of the narration and end up with either conclusions. But I suggest you only read the italicized words for entertainment purposes :D and reread again for better understanding. lol
CHAPTER 19: Byakuyas’ side of the story
“Our marriage is set and done. I expect that you fulfill your duties to me and our clan as a Kuchiki” Byakuya said matter of factly.
Rukia freeze from her movement. She stared at Byakuyas’ gray irises trying to find the reason behind his words. After a while she decided to drop her gaze back to the floor. “Hai, Byakuya” she agreed.
Byakuya wanted to see the expression on her eyes but few locks of her hair fell on her face as she lowered her gaze to the floor. He wanted to reach his hand to her face and comb away the raven locks but his body refused to move. He watched as she respectfully excuse herself and fled away towards her own chamber. He was left alone, thinking about things that he may consider as trivial matters.
Byakuya knew that, Rukia is mentally and emotionally stressed by now. He predicted that the burdens their clan had set on her little shoulder, and the pain of losing her lieutenant rank and Shinigami duties weighed on her. The fact that she lost control over herself in front of him was a proof. Never would Rukia act unlady like in his presence or to any Kuchiki member of the clan; that is one thing he certainly knew about her. He also knew that Rukia idolized him and placed him in a very high pedestal which quite puzzled him, but he pretended not to notice. To be honest, he quite liked it when her eyes sparkled whenever he did something that impressed her.
I am not a perfect person, Rukia.
Byakuya suddenly thought as soon as Rukias’ light form disappeared within her chamber. Now all he could see was her silhouette cast by the tiny candle light inside her room.
There’s so many things I wish I didn’t do.
Byakuyas’ memory about their past 120 years of being together under a single roof flitted on his thoughts. He wasn’t exactly what you can call a warm person. Though he showered her with gifts (which he didn’t gave to her personally) and luxury, he knew they were never enough. He failed to be the person she needed. He let other people like Kaien fulfill his duties as a family to her. But how could he be expected to treat the person who look exactly like his beloved dead wife as a sister? First of all he never had a sibling and knew nothing much about familial bond.
Byakuyas’ mother died upon child birth and his father passed away before he was even born. He never really knew what having a family feels like. He was raised as the future head of the clan and expected to become the captain of the 6th when he was still a young boy. He spent all his time training to become stronger and prove himself worthy to his late grandfather, who was the only person he consider family. Thus he didn’t have time to think about trivial matters such as emotion; especially jealousy towards the children who were having quality time with their parents. Whenever those emotions creeped on his chest, he would reason out that he didn’t need those mushy things called love. Meeting Hisana was what he would call the turning point of his life. He realized that he was as human and as weak as other people around him. He was vulnerable to emotions such as love and strong will to protect.
Ichigo and Renjis’ battle form appeared unconsciously on his mind.
Those fools, I hate to admit it but I was once like them. I was capable of putting everything I have, even put my life and honor on the line to have what I want. To protect the person I cared mostly about.
When Hisana died, she took everything Byakuya is with her inside her grave. The only thing that was keeping him alive in those hollow existence was his promise to find the child his wife abandoned, and his duties towards his clan. He willed himself to be strong and endure as much pain as he could. He had thought that it would be enough to go on living as long as he can before he could find a way to select a suitable hire to the clan from lesser branch of the main house. Apparently, he could not conceive ever thinking about remarrying much less making a hire for himself.
Though the shock of Byakuyas’ life came in the form of his late wife’s’ sister, who had look exactly like his beloved. His riatsu flare as minute as he could, that he believed no one probably noticed. He looked at the woman who called herself Rukia, she is without a doubt the abandoned sister his late wife was so adamant on finding. He adopted her as his sister.
If I could turn back the time, I would have never offered Rukia to become my sister. All I ever gave her was pain even now.
Hisana’s’ wish to give Rukia a family that will shelter her, love her and care for her; that he failed to give. He was far from being a warm brother to her. And worse of all he had let her die and swore to kill her himself. If it weren’t for Ichigo Kurosaki, he would have done an undoable mistake.
But I continue learning…
I never meant to do those things to you.
Byakuya thought before he decided to finally close his study room, and walk towards Rukias’ room. On his right hand, he was firmly holding Rukia’s asauche. He wanted to make up with her. He had done so many bad things to her and put undue pressure on her shoulder, now even for a little he wanted to show her that he wasn’t so heartless.
I just want you to know.
I've found a reason for me…
Byakuya thought that even though Rukia had not been as happy as what Hisana wished to be as his sister. Yet he didn’t regret that he found her that fateful afternoon. Looking at Rukia’s lonely expression on her ever familiar face, inspired him to rekindle his will to protect her. He had wanted to embrace her and never let go at that time. He really missed his late wife Hisana but try as he might fool himself, the girl was not his wife.
Upon adopting Rukia, Byakuya formed a heavy ice wall around himself to numb his senses and prevent himself from doing stupid things. He swore to protect Rukia from anyone who tried to harm her including himself, in order to fulfill his promise to his late wife.
To change who I used to be…
Byakuya was very thankful to Ichigo for his interference and for knocking some sense on him. He is a man of great pride and honor, he uphold his promises more than his own life and others. So when Rukia was sentenced to death, he choose to honor his promise to his parents’ tomb rather than his promise to his late wife. Luckily at that spur of the moment he choose to abandon his promises. The guilt would have killed him if Rukia had died that day.
After Byakuya rescued Rukia and took the blade that was meant for her, he was able to confess the truth to her. The truth his late wife asked him to keep as a secret forever. According to his late wife, she wasn’t worthy to be called Rukias’ sister, because she abandoned her when she was still an infant. Yet as much as Hisana is at fault, he was as will. He failed to be Rukias’ older brother.
The reason to start over new….
Thanks to Ichigo, Byakuya had the chance to start over new with Rukia. To try and become someone she wants him to be. Though his behavior didn’t change much, he tried to tolerate being close to her for a bit longer and talk to her for more than a few words. He promised to change and make it up to her.
And the reason is you.
Byakuya even go to such length as check up on Rukia before going to sleep ever since he had almost lost her. He would also send scouts to monitor her movement even more closely. He demanded for her whereabouts to his spies each time of the day. Though it was all done in secret.
And if Rukia had wished to be married to one of the two brats he would grant his approval right away-not without bloody battle of course.
Just as when Byakuya was trying to form a semblance of familial bond with Rukia for over a decades now, the crisis within the clan arises. He didn’t want to involve her with it but he knew perfectly that Rukia would not be able to escape her duties to the clan.
Right at that moment, Byakuya had arrived at Rukias’ bedroom door. He navigated her flow of riatsu to see whether she was now asleep, when he thought that she is; he entered the room. He went beside her futon and sat there. He gazed down at her peacefully sleeping form as his eyes soften at her apparition.
I'm sorry that I hurt you…
It's something I must live with everyday….
And all the pain I put you through…. I wish that I could take it all away. And be the one who catches all your tears.
Slowly, Byakuya set the sword beside Rukia. Just as when he was going to get up and leave, Rukia reached for his robe. He stared at now widely opened beautiful eyes.
“Byakuya?” Rukia asked. Byakuya continue to stare at her.
They remained silent after a while. Byakuya then pointed at sword beside Rukia.
“This is my engagement gift to you, Rukia” Byakuya suddenly declared. Rukia was agape by his answer. And then realization hit her.
Crap! I forgot to go to Unohanas’ house for the preparation! What am I doing falling asleep in my room?!
“I deeply appreciate your gift, Byakuya” Rukia uttered after willing herself not to panic about forgetting her practice with the taicho. Though she was beyond over-joyed as she look down at her asauche.
How did Byakuya got my zanpakto?
Rukia wondered. Yet she choose to keep her question to herself knowing that it won’t be beneficial as much as it would be troublesome, to ask trivial things. He probably had the possession of it simply because of being the Kuchiki head.
Rukia looked up at Byakuya and noticed his piercing stare. She wanted to inquire about his demeanor but she soon found out the reason he was staring at her. Apparently, she was still holding his robe. She then let go of it as though it burned her.
Silence fill the void around them.
“I am sorry” Byakuya suddenly uttered. He was now beside the door.
Rukia stared at his turned back. She finally noticed that he was not wearing the Kenseikan as her sleepiness fade away. “It’s fine Byakuya. I accept my duties to the clan whole heartedly. I want to be of use to you and the clan somehow. I am grateful for everything that you had provided me and for that I will do my best to support you with everything I am” she said.
Byakuya decided to turn around. “I am very thankful for your devotion Rukia” he said as he walked back towards her. He kneeled beside her and collected her small body to him and embraced her.
Rukia gasped at the contact. Her mind was plunged into overdrive. Suddenly, she felt like her body overheated. She wanted to push Byakuya away to stop this weird feeling she was getting but her body felt limp against his arms.
“Byakuya” Rukia whispered his name as though her breath was leaving her.
“Rukia” Byakuya said in his husky voice that sent shivers all over Rukias’ body.
Damn! I am super sensitive right now. Why did he choose to come here at this moment when I am hyper?!
“Do you really want to become my wife?” Byakuya asked referring to yesterday night’s confession on the garden. Rukia blushed at how intimate his voice sounded.
“Yes. Let’s make a family of our own Byakuya” Rukia said without even thinking about the implication of her words. Byakuya was caught surprised at her words.
“Do you know that you’re making me lose my mind right now Rukia?” Byakuya asked as though he can’t control himself. He leaned in his face towards the crook of her neck that was exposed due to her new hair style.
Rukia blushed at the intensity of want in his voice. “Byakuya show me how you love. Will you promise to be gentle?” she asked breathlessly. She looked like a seductress right now as she half lie on her futon while Byakuya was leaning on her neck. He was gently untying her kimono revealing small span of porcelain white skin. He slowly descended his lips on her skin and kissed it, leaving a burning sensation.
“Oh! B-Byakuya I want to be your woman. Take me now~~~~~~~~~~~”
“Wow! That’s…..intense?” Rukia commented as she was trying to picture out the scene from the book she was tasked to read. Apparently, one of the things the preparation to her wedding was; learning how to perform…. wifely duties. Unohana forced her to imagine herself and Byakuya doing the act, and to be honest it did not bother her as much as she expected. She found herself enjoying it and she sometimes laugh at the funny steamy plots that quite don’t fit on her and Byakuya. Nonetheless, she concluded that she is open-minded after all, and she knew that it was only possible due to her active imagination.
When she arrived this morning at Unohana-taichos’ office, she was immediately ushered by the older woman into a room full of books about…..sex. To say that she was appalled is beyond her. Reading books were one of her acquired hobby and she is by far, very informed in any matter regarding sexuality though she wasn’t experienced. Now that she think about it, the thought of Byakuya and her doing this out of obligation doesn’t bother her.
Come on! I am a woman too! I sure am not blind about Byakuyas’…assets.
Rukia didn’t exactly know how she has easily been able to picture out doing it with Byakuya. She slightly expected to be disgusted about their circumstance but none.
I guess it’s because I never really felt sibling-familial bond towards him from the very start. He was a stranger…. A very handsome stranger. A very good kisser….candy man.
Rukias’ active imagination floated to last nights’ events. After Byakuya suddenly arrived in her room and returned her zanpakto. He embraced her, and they shared a very long and emotional kiss.
The event would have become more intimate if not for Rukias’ grumbling stomach. Apparently she was very hungry because she refused to eat her meal during dinner and she had not eaten properly for days.
Byakuya convinced Rukia to eat dinner with him. For the first time, there meal time had been so full of happiness and contentment, though they remained silent throughout. They avoided speaking to each other seeing as words might break the magic between them. They spend time together in the gardens while holding hands.
Rukia smiled at the memory. She then stared at her hand where his hand had been holding last night.
Byakuya was a very sweet lover.
Rukia concluded.

to be continued...
OPgirl chapter 5 . 11/28
FIX IT FIC Substitute-Affections

Summary: To be married out of duty, can two people find a way to bridge the abyss before them? Byakuya x Rukia.
DISCLAIMER: I DON'T OWN BLEACH AND "SUBSTITUTE AFFECTIONS" BY Akane-Rei! I hope the original author don't mind my sluggish writing. I am an amateur writer, so please forgive my errors.-OPgirl
CHAPTER 18: Rukia’s POV about all of this
Both Byakuya and Rukia felt like they are back to the time when she was first adopted into the clan. The distance between them was unbearably long. As if they are strangers to each other. As if no engagement and a century of leaving in the same house never come between them.
Rukia fell into a dead silence, as her feelings about her relationship with the man in front of her gripped her chest, and memories from years ago flashed in her memory.
About 200 years ago, I grow up in Rukongai as a street rat. Rukongai is a very bad place to live in; Poverty, unemployment and crime were rampant. And just like any other kids in the vicinity, I struggled to make a leaving by stealing from the adults. No one cared about us kids. No one cared about me.
I used to wonder how I ended up in that place, but I soon learned that souls like me who died before ended up in this place; like a used trash dumped on the trash can to be recycled. What an irony.
Kubo-sama is a troll. How can he create an afterlife world that is much worse than the world of the living in terms of living condition? I thought that afterlife is supposed to be a paradise for good people? Am I a bad person in my past life then?
Rukia shook her head as ridiculous idea suddenly popped inside her mind about their deity Kubo-sama, the creator of this world. She felt exasperated about the idea that the creator got bored in his godly life and thus ended up making a lame excuse of an afterlife. She huffed.
If I had known that I would end up in Rukongai when I died from the living world, I would have run away from the soul reapers who tried to exorcise me.
Rukia unconsciously smiled when that thought appeared in her mind. She wanted to laugh about the ridiculousness of the matter.
I bet if it was Aizen who had been the creator in the first place; this place would be a much interesting world to live in. Just thinking about the high eternal white walls with high-tech cameras and tea time, is much better than the poor living condition in Rukongai where people had to fight for their life out of a small piece of bread.
If there are things I learned when I was young it is; if you don’t steal from others, life would be stolen from you; and that you cannot rely on adults to survive. Life in Rukongai is worse than shit.
Anyway, as I struggled to survive in that hell-hole of a place I met Renji and other kids. Since all of us doesn’t have a family that will shelter us, love us and care for us; we decided to stick together. We are contented to be with each other as family. That had been a very good idea up until scarcity of food took its toll upon us. Some of our friends died out of hunger.
And if it weren’t because of my past experiences at seeing other kids die in front of me, I would have killed myself as well.
Living in Rukongai is much worse than death but I could not shake the feeling that after every hardship there is hope of a better life. During that time, the only person who survive among our make-shift family is Renji. He was everything to me; my only remaining family. The only one I look up to and promised to protect.
For over 80 years of living and roaming around Rukongai district, we had learned so many things including how we can alleviate our status in life, education. If we study and got good grades, we can become Shinigamis and earn a decent living inside the walls of Sereitei, the place where life is so much comfortable.
“Let’s go to the Academy, Renji”
I could still remember that time I suggested for us to go to the academy, and what I feel looking down at the entirety of Rukongai; it was a huge contrast against the high Society, Sereitei. Armed only by our spiritual energy born out of necessity and our will to change our living status, we step foot in the Academy; a place where your wealth, family status and good grades matters.
Since I don’t have a family name when I entered the academy, people had been avoiding me like a plague. I sometimes hear whispers about my bastard status. It irked me at times but I didn’t mind it much and let the comments slide. Anyway, I am not one who cares about what people say. All I wanted is the education and chance for a better living conditions.
Let them tire themselves, they don’t deserve to be acknowledged anyhow. People who put down others doesn’t have anything they can be proud of themselves.
Days in the academy is very harsh and competitive but it was nothing in comparison with Rukongai. It would have been much better if the professors did not separated Renji from me. Since Renji has an outstanding strength and zanjutsu (sword style), they put him in the advance section while I am on the first class. Studying had been boring without that idiot around.
As time passed, Renji had been quite distant from me, since he had been gaining more and more friends each passing day. I was quite jealous about him. He was on the advance class and surrounded by friends, while I am left behind all alone. I guess my social skills was indeed very low, but what can I do? I survived my days in Rukongai because of this attitude. You can’t expect to change someone’s behavior over night!
Life had been repetitious and boring at the academy. I continued to fail my zanjutsu test and practicum. Renji bullied me over it. How dare he smugly brag about his trip to the World of the Living for practical exams?! He teased me about being left behind in the academy because of my poor performance.
“Idiot who says my grades are down?! It was only in zanjutsu! And I will be able to graduate too, although…much later”
I had been mulling about Renji’s absence that one afternoon after they left to the World of the Living. I wanted to say good luck to him but I didn’t come in time to see him leave. Now I ended up contemplating at the window, while thinking about not seeing him for a day.
Suddenly I heard someone called me.
“Miss Rukia?”
I turned around and found myself looking straight at a well-dressed old man followed by Shinigamis. I nodded my head in agreement with the name mentioned.
That fateful afternoon, I got the honor to be visited by one of the very important figures in all Soul Society, the 6th division squad captain. I was so excited about the opportunity; I had heard that if someone high ranking in one of the squads of Gotie 13 or much less a captain of a squad visit a student it means that they wanted to recruit them on their squad. I can’t believe someone was impressed about my grades and skills!
My heart palpitated almost to the point of hyperventilating, I willed myself to calm down as I followed the old man inside an impressive meeting hall. The old man did not say anything about himself, he only mentioned that the prestigious captain from squad 6 wanted to meet her in person. He also said that they already talked with her professor to excuse her from her afternoon class.
As I neared on the door, the two Shinigamis opened it for me respectfully. That felt so awkward. I wanted to say something but decided against it. I can’t embarrass myself!
Maybe this is how they treat their juniors?
I shook my head and decided to enter the opened door. When I stepped inside a sudden burst of riatsu made me feel dizzy and intimidated. Though it was very minute and disappeared very quickly, I never doubted that the controlled flare of riatsu came from the man dressed in a very impeccable kimono. He was wearing a scarf and there was something on his head like a Noble piece. To be honest, that hair piece is ridiculous but the man wearing it made it look like it is a crown or something.
Is he…the captain of the 6th squad? He look so very young, barely older than Renji I suppose. I heard the more powerful a Shinigami is, the slower he aged. He must be so powerful to look so youthful like that.
“Good afternoon, Sir. I am Rukia from class A”
I nervously said after sometime. I tried my best not to look up after I bowed as low as propriety expect from a student greeting a high officer. I wondered what I should be doing next. Thus I remained silent looking at the floor beside his feet. I can’t seem to bring myself to look up at him. The air of Nobility and power is overflowing inside the room, it made me feel very small and awkward.
Suddenly, I heard small whispers from the old man and the captain. After sometime, the man nodded his head barely. Then the old man gestured for me to come closer.
As I proceed to take an excruciatingly slow steps, I stood up almost 2 meters away from him. I remained looking down at the floor rather than directly at the man. I felt so very self- conscious and embarrassed.
“Greetings to you Lady Rukia, the Lord wanted to inform you of his will to adopt you into the prestigious Kuchiki clan as his honored sister”
.
.
.
.
.
I tried to blink discreetly as I could. Am I…..hallucinating?! Me… going to be sister to a Lord? And not just some Lord….He is the Head of the Kuchiki clan! One of the 4 noble families of Soul Society.
I slowly digested all the things the old man, who is actually a retainer to the Kuchiki clan, was saying. He was saying something about adopting me as a sister to the man who was standing a few feet from me.
I thought….I-I am going to be offered a spot in the Gotie 13s’ squad 6 division after I graduate? What is this?
I look at the old man inquiringly. Disbelief and utter confusion was evident on my face. I didn’t even tried to conceal it.
“Lady Rukia, we are offering you to be a Kuchiki lady-sister to the 28th head of the Kuchiki clan and captain of the 6th squad”
At that very moment I feel like walking out of the room because of how ridiculous the situation felt. Who was in there right mind going to stay mannered when offered with utter fiction?! I am already a woman for God sake! I will never expect anyone to adopt me in this age. Are they making fun of me?
“We are offering you a family. A high-status in life. You will be able to graduate in the academy as soon as possible and have a division within the Gotie 13. Think about the opportunity, Lady Rukia”
At that declaration, my train of thought completely shifted. H-how did they… Suddenly, memories of my past flashed inside my head. Memories of how much I wanted to have a family. Memories of the time I had desperately wished for a family to shelter me…..a family that will love me….and care about my well-being… a family that all of us orphaned kids wished to have. A dream Renji and I shared.
So much for accepting the offer…..
Years of becoming a Kuchiki proved that, family is not something written on my destiny. Yes, I become a Kuchiki. My name turned from Miss Rukia to Lady Rukia Kuchiki. How fairytale come true nonsense…..
I felt everything but familial bond from the clan that adopted me. So much for being sister to the Head of the Kuchiki clan and captain of 6th squad.
The only change I felt my new family brought in my life is; I wasn’t ignored by others anymore because of being a street rat, but now they are staying away from me because I am a high-class princess from a strict noble family. I got all the luxury a high society could offer and now I don’t have anything. I lost Renji…..the only person I had who was more of a family to me than my clan put together.
Years of living as a Kuchiki princess and learning all the etiquettes written, did nothing to improve the way the clan treated me. I am a stranger within my own mansion. My own mansion? Byakuya said whatever was his, was mine as well. Material things that is all he ever gave me! He treated me worse than a tenant inside his house. He never looked at me even once, much less treat me like how brothers should treat their sisters even if I am adopted.
Whenever I talked to him, he made me feel inadequate. I tried my best to excel but it seems I would never be able to leave up to the Kuchiki name I am carrying. Life at the Kuchiki house is far from home where family get together. I had never been able to cope up with the coldness of my supposed family. Sometimes I wished I could turn back the time and decline the offer no matter how rude it was.
Luckily I found a comfortable haven at my squad. Ukitake-taicho is very kind, Shinigamis there are warm-not all of them though…just a few, and of course Kaien-dono. He is everything I wished Byakuya will be. The contrast between their attitudes was like comparing day to night. I found contentment within the walls of my squad barracks. I tried to spend all my time at the barracks preferring to go home only when dinner with Byakuya is set.
I completely dedicated my time at the 13th squad. I learned to ignore the coldness inside the manor from both the Elders and Byakuya. Sometimes, I found myself wishing to lighten up the manor and the people inside it, but I doubt I could make a difference. Instead I tried to do my best to make a good impression with the Kuchiki clan members, since it was thanks to them that I had found a place I could be truly happy with.
Happiness… it is not constant commodity….. A luxury I don’t know if I could ever afford nor experience ever again. I killed Kaien-dono!
That night everything collapsed around me. I can’t….I lost the will to live.
After I delivered Kaien-donos’ dead body on to his family, I completely lost all sense. I didn’t know how I survived.
All I could remember was how Byakuya and the others treated me like nothing happened. Like Byakuya’s childhood friend and fellow nobleman and Shinigami, did not die on my hands. They continued to nag me to become a proper Kuchiki lady and not embarrass the clan. They fill my hollow life with more rules, etiquette and stupid expectations. To say that I was a living dead was not far from the truth. I was more like a living mannequin; hollow inside and out. I didn’t even expect Byakuya to comfort me; in any shape or form, which as expected of him ignored me all the same. I was actually thankful now that I think about it…..if they didn’t put pressure on me on my duties I might have lost a chance to a brighter future.
Meeting Ichigo, was what I would call the climax in my life. Yes, it was a roller coaster ride! I lost my power, got sentenced to complete incarceration at the sokyuko and never to be reincarnated again, used as a container for a dangerous jewel unknowingly, and made into a pawn and a damsel in distress. To say my life journey was rocky is quite simply stated. Yet after all that, I realized that I wasn’t a waste of space, that someone cared for me enough to fight the laws and beliefs of the entire Soul society, and that I did make a difference.
Ichigo changed my life, showed me how to feel happy again, gave me the confidence I lost, and taught me how to trust. Slowly, I learned to open my heart to a selected few and let them see through my disguise.
I regained my long lost childhood friend, Renji. Funny how we were able to pick up our friendship at the exact moment we lost each other. I learned about Renjis’ aspirations and respected him for it. Though I had wished that Renji didn’t let me go. But past is in the past. I want to live up to this moment. Lost memories will forever be memories in the past, so I wanted to create a new ones with my new group of comrades. Hopefully this time, no more regrets. I won’t hold back myself to go beyond extra mile for them. The friends who fought for my freedom and well-being.
Ichigo was the best thing that came to my life after Kaien. He not only resembled him so much in looks but also in character, and much more. He was my Black Sun. Black sun….how cute. I heard from Urahara that he had read from some ancient scroll that Kubo-sama wrote our names on a legendary book; I being the White moon and Ichigo as the Black sun. Funny…I think Kisuke was playing pranks on us at that one time. I almost believe that I and Ichigo was destined to be together. Though to be honest he got me…..real hard. Whenever I spend time with him, I could swear I sense something about him or more about myself. Am I in-love with the carrot top?
Yes. I think I had loved him at one time! But his my friend….my best friend! I will lay my life for him if I had to! That is how much I valued him.
In order to defeat Aizen, Ichigo and the rest of us fought him with everything we’ve got. At that time, we learned about Aizens’ precarious plan to become the Soul king and remodeled soul society into a much sophisticated one. According to him, he would rid the soul society of its burden in constantly balancing the equilibrium between world of the living and the dead. As much as his plans were ridiculous, there was truth behind his words. He was able to transform Ichigo into full time Shinigami thanks to the Hogyuko.
Letting Aizen off the hook was far-fetched though he was sentenced to seat on the chair and become the energy supplier of all soul society. He had caused so much trouble because of his treachery, creation of espadas and distortion of balance. As such he served his sentence under the bowls of Sereitei. All had been well up until now. No one died and everyone were happy.
The remaining espadas were in peace treaty with the Shinigamis, thanks to Ichigos’ insistence on both sides. He proved to be more than a hero but also a good forgiving soul. Though almost 5 decades have passed and nothing about his attitudes towards me changed. He treated me as his best friend, nothing more and nothing less.
And as for Renji, he was still the same good ol’ Renji. He treated me no less than a friend, a childhood friend. Thus it greatly puzzled me why the heck their expressions and reactions to my upcoming wedding to Byakuya was much gloomier than I had expected? I expect them to be more…calm and supportive.
I wonder what would have happened if I ended up marrying Renji instead?...He is by far possessed every quality husband should have. He loves chappy. He is my childhood friend….and if I would be bold enough I could say he had a crush on me or something back then. I am being silly, Renji don’t like me that way! Cause if he did, he should have told me by now! We’re not getting any younger you know…..huff- but let’s just say he did love me romantically. I wonder what Byakuyas’ reaction would be?
(A/N: Byakuya will Bankai his Ass! Lol :D )
As for Ichigo. I wonder what would have happen if he had confessed his love to me and ask my hand for marriage to Byakuya? Funny….I could almost hear his screams as Byakuya scatter Senbonzakura on his trail. I don’t think Ichigo ever felt that way about me though. He hates chappy and constantly made fun of my drawing. Certainly not a husband material. (A/N: lol! Her standard always had anything to do with chappy)
I bet being calm and supportive….what I could expect with Byakuyas’ reaction to their proposal if ever they did. I know that Byakuya approved of the two. Though thinking about what ifs won’t change anything.
Byakuya would have been the last person someone will come up paring with me, I can’t out rightly say that he isn’t a good choice at the moment. I know that it wasn’t he who suggested our engagement in the first place, and if I had been correct with my observation, it was the Elders’ decision. It isn’t a secret to me that the Elders were usurping power within the clan. Byakuya may have only approved of their decision to prevent falling out at this crucial moment when other noble families were trying to regain power within the Soul Society. This marriage is for the best.
Rukia thought as a conclusion.
Rukia at that moment stared at Byakuyas’ back, now completely aware that their union won’t be happening anytime soon.
I misbehaved in front of him and cursed like
OPgirl chapter 3 . 11/23
FIX IT FIC Substitute-Affections

Summary: To be married out of duty, can two people find a way to bridge the abyss before them? Byakuya x Rukia.

DISCLAIMER: I DON'T OWN BLEACH AND "SUBSTITUTE AFFECTIONS" BY Akane-Rei! I hope the original author don't mind my sluggish writing. I am an amateur writer, so please forgive my errors.-OPgirl

A/N: I wanna thank the reviewers for making time to write down their thoughts. I also want to address Drunken Sage or whoever she/he is. first of all I had asked for permission and personally messaged Akane-Rei-san but apparently she wasn't active anymore. And secondly, I m not theft because I did not stole her work and the proof of the matter is I explicitly put credits to her work. This story I wrote is merely a fanfiction of a fanfiction, therefore I did not stole anything. I implore you to go read her fic because in that way this fic would make more sense as you read. That's all thank you.

CHAPTER 16: The Two Broken Hearts and The Betrayed One

At that moment, Rukia woke up. Sweat drenched her entire body. She trembled from the memory of that weird dream. She looked around her room and noticed that nothing was unordinary. She then wipe the sweat falling from her forehead.

"Achoo!" Rukia sneezed loudly.

Agh! I think I catch a cold. Rukia thought.

Rukia decided to cut short her sleep, since she knew that the sun would be rising soon. She moved towards her bathroom and found out that the servants already drawn some water on the tab. She gingerly peeled off her clothes from her body and slowly dipped her toe on the warm water.

After sometime, she completely soaked her body on the tab and soaped her body using the soap personally made by the Kuchiki ladies. She absolutely loved her soaps' fragrance, it smells so relaxing and heavenly.

Suddenly, a knock was heard from the other side of her shoji door. "Rukia-sama, Lord Kuchiki wanted to inform you that he wouldn't be able to accompany you for breakfast" the servant said.

Rukia contemplated the servants' words.

"Thank you" Rukia said in response.

After a while, Rukia is seating inside the dining room alone. She waited for no one in particular before she started eating. Suddenly, one of the servant placed an herbal soup on the table. Then left without a word.

Strange. I didn't inform the servants to prepare soup for my cold. Kuchiki house indeed is very efficient, when it comes to service. Rukia thought.

Rukia finished her meal at time record, since certain someone is not around to reprimand her for acting like a commoner. She stood from her seat and cleaned her table, as if on the cue the servants entered and help their mistress clean the dining room. She then bid farewell at the servants, they in turn bowed deeply to the soon-to-be Lady of the house.

Rukia found a bag lying beside her closet. She approached it curiously. That's when she remember that, she needs to pack some of things for her stay over.

"Oh! I almost forgot, I would be staying at Unohana-taichoos' house for the preparation" Rukia uttered to herself. "Should I go directly to the fourth division? Or should I wait here?" apparently, she decided to do the former.

Suddenly, one of the servants approached Rukia. "Rukia-sama, some of your things has been delivered to Unohana-samas' house" he informed her. Rukia nodded though she was confused why the bag she supposed contained her things was left behind.

The servant noticed his mistress's curiosity on the bag she was currently holding. "Lord Kuchiki, wanted for you to check the items in the bag that belongs to the late Lady of the house" at this the servant bowed deeply.

So this items belong to Byakuya's dead wife, my very own sister, the sister I never even once met. Rukia thought to herself. She proceed to check the items inside the bag.

"Would you be taking it with you, Rukia-sama?" the servant asked in a very silent way. It is as though, he knew what it felt to be a substitute of some sort.

"I will be taking it. Please send it to Unohana-taichoos' house" Rukia ordered without hesitation. She turned away as gracefully as she can, she knew that the expression on the servants' face would that be of concern and she doesn't have the energy to deal with it.

Rukia exited the Kuchiki manor dressed in her standard Shinigami robes while her zanpakto was securely tied on her sash. She shonpoed her way towards her division squad barracks. As soon as she entered the training hall, every single one of the 13th division Shinigamis stopped moving.

"Ohayo, Lieutenant Kuchiki" Abarai greeted Rukia in a very stiff way.

Rukia just stared at her childhood friend and past love-interest. She contemplated what to do. "Ohayo, Abarai-fukutaicho" she greeted back. She waited for him to move away from her way rather than shove him herself.

"Can I talk to you for a second, Rukia? Renji asked after sometime.

Rukia immediately looked up at Renji wondering what it is he wanted to talk about. "Let's go to my office" she said after deciding that he must want to talk about personal matters.

After a while they were finally alone in her office. "What is it Renji? If you are trying to dissuade me from marrying Byakuya, then I suggest you keep it to yourself" she said as detached as she could.

Renji remained very silent for almost an entire 5 minutes. Rukia looked up from her table to stare at Renji. Suddenly, Byakuya's lost scarf -that cost 10 Kuchiki mansion- flopped on her table top.

"Renji?!" Rukia exclaimed in disbelief and curiosity. It's been 50 years since she had last seen Byakuya wore this scarf. How in the world does Renji have this in his possession?

"Kuchiki-taicho gave this to me, after he utterly defeated me" Renji started to say, as he reminisce the time when he first fought his captain using everything he got to save Rukia from the execution. Rukia gasped.

"I intend to use this as a dowry for your hand" Renji said in a very melancholic way that Rukia ached to hold him in her embrace. Rukia decided to turn away.

"It is now very late for that…..Renji" Rukia said in an equally melancholic way." I cannot turn away from my obligation" she said in a slightly trembling voice.

"Obligations! Is it more important than my feelings, Rukia? Do you really not care about me? Do you really not love me even a little bit?" Renji asked in a hoarse voice, evidence of nights' restlessness and drunk state. He had finally asked the woman who was the center of his world the questions he really wanted to ask for a very long time. "Do you not love me the way that I have loved you?"

Rukia gasped in surprise when suddenly Renji dared to kiss her full in the lips. Her world spanned and she was out of breath.

"I love you, Rukia" Renji offered his hand. Rukia could only stare at her childhood friend dumbly. "Runaway with me"

Rukia took his outstretched hand and said "Renji, I love you too. Take me away"

"Renji, I hope you understand. The only thing that will be able for this union to not take place is whether one of us die or the Kuchiki elders cancel the wedding itself. The Elders were very stubborn with their decision and Byakuya deemed me appropriate as the next Lady of the house, and I don't oppose to it. Obligation to the clan comes first before my emotions" Rukia said in a very serious voice that certainly proved her to be a true Kuchiki in every sense. "This union is for the best" she added.

"Is that how much you dedicated yourself to your clan? To choose death rather than oppose your marriage with Kuchiki-taicho?" Renji asked.

Rukia nodded her head in affirmation. "I want to give this engagement a chance. Anyway, It's not like I have a boyfriend which would be clearly get hurt if I marry Byakuya?" she asked rhetorically.

I am going to get hurt Rukia. Renji thought to himself. He mentally debated whether to actually put his plan into action. Should he confess and pray to God for Rukia to reciprocate his feelings? But knowing her stubborn nature, he doubted that his plan would succeed.

"I want to love him, Renji" Rukia declared after a while, her face suddenly glowed in a semblance of hope. "Byakuya is an honorable man, I could not wish for a better match than him" she added.

This declaration completely extinguished Renji's hope to confess his undying love. At that moment, the pair did not noticed Ichigo opining Rukias' office door. Apparently, he was able to hear Rukias' declaration. And then, two hearts broke at the same time.

Renji decided to cut short his visit, and bid farewell to her without another word. He closed Rukias' office door and departed from 13th division barracks completely oblivious to his surroundings.

Rukia on the other hand slumped on her chair. Her head started to hurt pretty badly. For some unknown reason, she suspected that she had lost something.

"Rukia"

Rukia jumped from her chair as soon as she heard Ichigos' voice. She wanted to greet him but apparently, all energy seem to escape her, and she could only manage to grunt.

"Do you really want to love him?" Ichigo asked referring to her earlier declaration.

Rukia realized that Ichigo must have heard them talking. She managed to nod.

"If that is your choice. Then that might be for the best" Ichigo said in an almost melancholic way. "Just don't forget that, I an

d Renji are here to rescue you if ever you decide to call your engagement a quit" he added.

At Ichigos' statement Rukia felt somewhat relieved to know that, she still had their support. She smiled a little bit towards him. "Arigato, Ichigo"

"This is farewell then…. Anyway, I just came here to see you for the last time before I get dispatched to my new station" Ichigo informed.

"Good luck then Ichigo" Rukia said. "I hope you make it back in time for my wedding" she added

Silence fell in between them.

"I will try to come…midget" Ichigo said as he coolly exited Rukias' office door. "Ja ne"

As soon as Ichigo closed the door, he flash-stepped as far away as he could. Hurt was very evident in his face. "I am going to Hueco Mundo, Rukia. Is that all you're going to tell me?" he asked as if the girl in question could hear him. "Damn it! I feel so stupid! Why can I not say it to her?"

"I want to love him, Renji" Rukia declared after a while, her face suddenly glowed in a semblance of hope. "Byakuya is an honorable man, I could not wish for a better match than him" she added.

Ichigo clearly remembered her words from a while ago. And try as he may, a sting of jealousy clasp his insides.

"This marriage have nothing to do with happiness" Byakuya said.

Like a devils' chant, Byakuyas' words drifted on his ears. "Damn it Rukia! You're making the biggest mistake of your life!

Rukia on the other hand, felt like the world collapsed on her. She may act cool and collected in front of her past love interests and current best-friends, yet she could not deny the pain she felt. She felt like, she had just made a grave mistake; as weird as it may seem but she almost thought that her best-friends , were the ones who were really hurt by her upcoming marriage to Byakuya.

Silly! Why would they get hurt about my engagement? Its' not like I am in an intimate relationship with one of them and if they really felt something for me, they would have confessed by now before this thing had ever occurred. The truth is they are only my best-friends and they are just really concerned about me marrying someone like Byakuya, the oh-so mighty ice king, might be fairy tale to some but not to her at least.

Rukia tried to convince herself that nothing was wrong about her best-friends nor believe it was the right choice to fight for her engagement to Byakuya. She unconsciously brushed her long raven hair with her fingers.

Suddenly, a hell-butterfly fluttered inside her office room and it landed on her fingers.

"Kuchiki-fukutaicho, you are hereby summoned to the Captains' meeting held at the first division" the voice on the hell-butterfly announced.

Rukia let the hell-butterfly flutter away. She hurriedly exited her office and flash-stepped towards the 1st division hall. Upon entering respectfully in the middle of the meeting, she stood behind her captain. She throw a quick glance towards Byakuya, who was very silent as always.

After sometime, the captain commander addressed her. "Kuchiki-fukutaicho"

Rukia step forward upon being called. As she stood a few steps in front of the captain commander, she was immediately overwhelmed by his immense riatsu that her legs almost give off.

"Congratulation on your upcoming wedding" the commander said with a hint of controlled snarl. He took a discreet stare at the captain of the 6 squad. "It would have been better if, you had been engaged to one of the Shibas, in that way Seiretei will benefit from their clans prowess" he said.

At that declaration, Rukia almost gasped loudly as another flare of riatsu from the captain commander burst. Aside from the flare, she was equally shocked about the intender behind the commanders' words.

The commander wanted to match me with one of the Shibas' nobleman?

Rukia turned her head inquiringly towards Byakuya, yet apparently he was very silent at the moment.

"Nonetheless, the Kuchiki clan rip off that opportunity and now, they demanded for me to release one of my remarkable Shinigami. It was stated in the law of Sereitei that Gotie 13 had nothing to do with the Nobles and likewise, but apparently the Kuchikis' have submitted their concern at the Central 46. Thus, I now announce that, Rukia Kuchiki" the commander ranted.

Rukia held her breath, knowing that something very bad is about to happen. She tried to steady the beating of her heart.

"I hereby strip you off from your lieutenant position and Shinigami duties" the commander announced.

At that moment, Rukia felt like the world around her finally got destroyed and swallow her to the deeps of hell. She was utterly speechless. She felt betrayed to the highest caliber. Everything that she strived to become, her dreams and her aspirations, all but crumbled and broke into pieces. Her tears threatened to fall from her eyes, yet she willed herself to stay strong.

Rukia look at Byakuya in a way that, if were not for the other captains and the commander himself, she would have marched towards him and demand for an explanation. Byakuya remained silent as if he didn't care that pairs of eyes were burning a hole on his head.

"Starting today, Lady Kuchiki is hereby relieved from her duties in Gotie 13" the commander added.

TO BE CONTINUED...
OPgirl chapter 4 . 11/22
FIX IT FIC Substitute-Affections

Summary: To be married out of duty, can two people find a way to bridge the abyss before them? Byakuya x Rukia.
DISCLAIMER: I DON'T OWN BLEACH AND "SUBSTITUTE AFFECTIONS" BY Akane-Rei! I hope the original author don't mind my sluggish writing. I am an amateur writer, so please forgive my errors.-OPgirl
CHAPTER 15: Aftermath of a Love Confession

Rukia was left staring at his back. This time, her senses returned to her and she tried to breathe as evenly as she could. She just finally realized that she was holding her breath for far too long.
Suddenly she heard a soft chuckle. Rukia’s brow twitched.
“Rukia-sama, I didn’t expect you to pull such a fit. Maybe I should congratulate you” Shirayuki commented as she tried to hold in her laughter. They were currently standing inside her plane of mind.
Rukia looked at her zanpakto in a very dirty way. The last thing she wanted is to be laugh at, after putting her life on the line to change Byakuya’s demeanor towards her, to make him consider moving on from his dead wife’s memory.
After a while, Rukia decided to let her zanpakto walk away from slightly pissing her off. “What do you think I should have done, Shirayuki?” she asked her.
Shirayuki stopped her quite laughter and looked at her mistress. “I suggest that you just go and kiss him next time. That way Kuchiki-sama won’t be able to keep you hanging” she suggested earnestly.
Rukia contemplated about what her zanpakto had said. After a while she nodded. “You know I wouldn’t be able to do that, he’ll go Bankai on me” she commented carefully, as if that was even possible.
Shirayuki just smiled at her mistress. “Believe me, he would not do such a thing. He loves you very much after all”
Silence fill in between them after Shirayuki’s declaration.
“I am really was tired, Shirayuki. I guess I should follow Byakuya’s advice” Rukia turned and walk away from her zanpakto. I need to sleep.
“Rukia-sama, I am sorry” Shirayuki suddenly whispered as her mistress exited their world. “I am sorry, I had lied at you but I need to stop you from your fast development. I need to distract you from obtaining your Bankai. It’s too dangerous. I don’t want to loss you” though her seeing someone was not a lie, she had intended to make it look like she did not trusted her, and that their bond isn’t strong enough to facilitate achieving her Bankai. She believed that teasing her would divert her attention from her goal, and the opportunity had come in a form of Rukia’s engagement with Byakuya.
As Shirayuki contemplated her situation with her mistress, her visitor suddenly arrived inside Rukia’s plane of mind without invitation again. A small smile appeared on her thin lips despite herself being a very cold lady.
After Byakuya heard of Rukia’s love confession out of nowhere, he felt very conflicted to the point he did not realized what he was about to do. He tried to lean in and test the waters, but he retreated as soon as his sense returned to him. That was one foolish move, he admitted. He dismissed her then and turned away, but he did not returned to his chambers. Instead he suddenly found himself standing in front of his fiancée’s bedroom door.
Byakuya took a deep breath and decided to enter her room, just as what he always do whenever he had the time. Upon entering, he noticed Rukia’s sleeping form lying on the futon and he immediately sat beside it. It’s been almost a hobby for him to check on her before he retire for the night, ever since that day he almost lost her forever. And seeing her peacefully sleeping inside her room under the roof of his house, is enough to take away all the stress he accumulated throughout the day.
Byakuya look down at his pride. He was very pleased at her bravery.
“Byakuya, I love you” Rukia said.
A slight curving of the tips of his lips decorated his handsome face. He himself did not thought that at that moment when she confessed her affection to him, he could almost see himself doing the same.
Suddenly, Rukia stirred from her sleep the cloth covering her body slid. Byakuya lean on to cover her body with the sheet. Yet upon reaching out to cover her, he noticed that the temperature of her body was very low, this fact alerted him. It was very low that he knew it was not normal for even an ice type Shinigami welder.
Byakuya decided to reach for more cloth inside Rukia’s closet to cover her slightly trembling body. Seeing that there were no more sheets to cover her, he took the kimonos he gave her (I mean the kimonos he sometimes left beside her futon whenever he visit her) to cover her with more layers of cloth, knowing that her body’s temperature is dropping very fast and the cloth he covered her with isn’t enough.
“Rukia” Byakuya uttered worriedly. Truth be told, if Rukia was awake by now and could see how worried Byakuya looked, she would assume that one of Urahara’s faulty modsoul possessed Byakuya. Apparently, just like everybody, Rukia believed that Byakuya is emotionally dead and is a perfect example of a living statue.
Byakuya looked down at Rukia’s very pale face, he almost could see traces of frost on it. ”What’s happening to you” he uttered. He debated whether he should call the Kuchiki physician, or take her to the fourth division instead, because it look like this sudden drop of temperature of her body isn’t like a decease, it maybe because of her power itself. He almost believed that Rukia would freeze to death if he won’t do anything about it.
At that moment, Byakuya leaned even closer to Rukia. His face is merely a few centimeters away from her freezing one.
“Rukia let it warm slowly” Byakuya whispered on Rukia’s ears. He didn’t know why he said that, but he hoped that she would be able to hear him. “Rukia I am here now, I will help you just please control yourself” he added.
By now, Byakuya felt like Rukia’s body temperature slowly stopped decreasing for a few degree Fahrenheit. He tried to touch the side of her face to warm it up with his palm, yet as soon as his fingertips touched her pale face, a sudden jolt of pain crawled on his hand. Frostbite
Byakuya knew at that moment, that her temperature reached the temperature where it could freeze water, zero degree Celsius. He was not a science freak like Mayuri but he understood the implication of such phenomenon. Rukia’s power is very dangerous for herself.
Byakuya look at the sword nestled on the rack beside Rukia’s futon. He noticed that the sword is somewhat glowing, though Rukia was not welding it at the moment, he believed that the connection between her and the sword is strongly connected. He had the urge to take away her zanpakto, yet he decided against it, knowing that a sudden interference between the sword and Rukia might be fatal, especially now that Rukia was trying to control herself even in her sleep.
As long as Rukia is performing her Shinigami duties, she will never be far away from danger.
Right then, a sudden idea appeared on his mind and his heart agreed with it.
I will not let anyone hurt you Rukia, not even yourself. As soon as we get married, you shall leave all your Shinigami duties, and stay in my manor as my wife and nothing else. I will protect you with all my power, so that you will not have to use your own power to protect yourself and everyone you cared for.
Suddenly, Byakuya heard Rukia grunted in her frozen sleep, as if she protested against the thought that appeared inside his mind. He looked down at her disturbed appearance.
I am sorry Rukia, I know how you wanted to keep your Shinigami duties to protect everyone you cared, but I cannot let you harm yourself. I don’t know how I will survive….if I ever lost you.
“I love you, Rukia” Byakuya whispered. Though he did not mean it in a romantic way, he really do love her very much, she is his pride and the reason why his heart was still beating on his chest, he is alive to protect her, the one he cared the most in this life.
Rukia’s appearance at that moment become tranquil once more, as if she heard his earnest confession. Byakuya smiled at how her face returned to its normal state. He reached his fingers to comb her stray bang away from her beautiful face. He noticed a slight pink glow on her cheeks.
“Achoo!”Rukia sneezed in her sleep.
“I think you catch cold” Byakuya commented. He was quite relieved that her temperature was back to normal. Seeing as she was now ok, he decided to take his leave and finally be able to sleep peacefully for the night.
“Have a sweet dreams, Rukia” Byakuya said with a hint of playfulness. He suddenly remembered her awkward way of wishing him goodnight at the dining room, he was pleased that she called him by his name though he did not fully understood why, he thought that he should be offended as it was disrespectful of her to not put honorifics on his name but he found himself comfortable with it instead.
Byakuya exited Rukia’s room as soon as he returned the extra sheets and kimonos back to her closet, making sure nothing is out of the ordinary. As he walk towards his room, he met one of the servants.
“Prepare an herbal soup for Rukia, first thing in the morning” Byakuya uttered after thinking about Rukia’s cold.
“Hai, Kuchiki-sama” the servant said.
Byakuya then proceeded to walk over his bedchamber. He gingerly opened the door. For the first time in a very long time, he felt that he suddenly wanted to redecorate his room. As funny as it seems, the grayness of his bedroom and lack of color within its walls made him think that a few chappy the bunny plushy would be a great addition to his Wakame Dashe collection.
Byakuya then closed the door after entering his room. He took off his coat, leaving only his sleeping robes, he then decided to drop dead at his bed. To outside onlookers, this might seem very out of character of him, but to be honest this is how he really behave when he was alone and no one could see him. Whenever he had the time and energy, he would plop on his bed and roll over it sides like a child he was. He did not really know why he felt like this at this time but he knew sleep won’t be coming soon. He reached for one of his Seaweed Admiral Plush hidden under his closet and hugged it very tightly. After a while, he reached for another plush this time it was bunny shaped plush.
Byakuya made the two plushy face each other. The Seaweed Ambassador was quite taller than the bunny.
Bunny: Seaweed Ambassador, I love you
Byakuya made the Seaweed moved closer to the bunny and seemed to make it kiss the other plush. Then suddenly, he made the Seaweed turn away.
Ambassador: I thought it wasn’t I that you love. Aren’t you in love with that Carrot top friend of yours? And not to mention that Pineapple head.
Byakuya made the bunny move closer to the Seaweed.
Bunny: No! I am not in love with them…I mean I used to…but they don’t see me at that light.. I want to love you now.
Byakuya made the Seaweed face the Bunny.
Seaweed: You can’t teach your heart to love whoever you choose easily….. I have loved before and now that she’s gone…..I don’t know how to love anymore
Bunny: Marry me for real Seaweed… and I will show you how to love again. I promise to stay with you forever.
Seaweed was about to retort at the Bunny’s declaration, but a swirl of wind and dust scattered around. In its wake two plushies appeared.
Pineapple head and Carrot top: We object to this union!
Carrot top: Chappy! Don’t marry this block of ice
Bunny: Please don’t insult Seaweed in my presence.
Bunny turned away from the Carrot top.
Pineapple head: Chappy, listen to me. This is a mistake! You don’t love him and you are just marrying for convenience!
Carrot top: Heck, yes! You don’t love him! You love me instead right?!
Bunny looked at her past crush and best friend, Carrot top.
Pineapple head: What the heck?! When did she says she love you idiot?! She loves me!
Suddenly a group of stern looking seaweeds appeared.
Seaweed: Too late for both of you! Chappy is marrying me.
“We object!” a group of Rukia’s friends appeared.
An old looking man appeared out of nowhere. “Your objections are invalid. No one will be able to stop this wedding!” he declared. “The Kuchiki clan will have an heir soon and we are going to be much more powerful clan than all 3 remaining noble families combined!”
As soon as the old man’s words registered to everyone’s mind, chaos ensued.
Chappy found herself drinking sake and confessing her upcoming marriage to the two idiots who were laughing at her.
Pineapple head: You don’t have a boyfriend even ones, how can you be suddenly be engaged to someone?
Carrot top: Unless of course, she’s marrying Byakuya.
At that declaration, pineapple head fell into a grave silence, while his companion the Carrot top laugh hysterically.
Bunny: I am, in fact engage to him.
After her declaration, bunny fell unconscious. The pineapple head immediately called for 2 fourth division healers: Hana and Inoue.
The rumor about the wedding spread far and wide in the whole Sereitei and nearby Rukongai districts, as soon as the day break.
“Something fishy”
“Do you think….she’s pregnant?”
“She must have seduced him….though I don’t believe that, that guy can be seduced”
“I heard she looks like his past wife…..maybe that’s why she is adopted…to become substitute”
“Shsss. She’s here!”
“Chappy! Congratulation for your engagement! Tell me who is the lucky guy? Is it Kurosaki or Abarai?” Kiyone asked her curiously.
“Hahaha! It’s Kurosaki isn’t it?!”Kiyone declared on her own. “Pay up Sentaro. I win!” she turned to look at the approaching man.
“Idiot! Abarai is the one! You pay up!”
Chappy on the other hand realized that almost everyone where betting on who she is going to end up with. Even her captain.
Chappy: It’s Seaweed. I am engaged to him.
Kiyone and Sentaro: What?!
Everyone: So it was true! The rumor….
Chappy was bombarded with so many types of reactions varying from awe, congratulatory, pity, jealousy, suspicion and utter disbelief.
Chappy ended up asking her captain to stand as a father figure for her in the upcoming engagement party, 3 days from now. Unohana-taichoo on the other hand promised to help her with wedding and married life preparation. She advised Chappy to relax at the manor but Chappy decided to visit the Shibas instead.
Suddenly, Chappy found herself face to face with Seaweed.
Seaweed: I will marry you Chappy. Would you care to be a Substitute for my beloved?
Bunny: I don’t mind, if that is what will make you happy. I owe everything to you and your family, and so I will do my best to be the perfect wife lady Hisana had been.
Byakuya leaned in to kiss her on the lips.
At that moment, Rukia woke up. Sweat drenched her entire body. She trembled from the memory of that weird dream. She looked around her room and noticed that nothing was unordinary. She then wipe the sweat falling from her forehead.
“Achoo!” Rukia sneezed loudly.
Agh! I think I catch a cold. Rukia thought.
TO BE CONTINUED…..
OPgirl chapter 2 . 11/21
FIX IT FIC Substitute-Affections

Summary: To be married out of duty, can two people find a way to bridge the abyss before them? Byakuya x Rukia.

DISCLAIMER: I DON'T OWN BLEACH AND "SUBSTITUTE AFFECTIONS" BY Akane-Rei! I am just a simple reader/writer who come across this fic in 2017, and discovered that it had been discontinued for 10 years now. Therefore, I decided to put an end to its hiatus as best as I can. I hope the original author don't mind my sluggish writing. I am an amateur writer, so please forgive my errors.-OPgirl

CHAPTER 14: Substitute Affection

"Have a sweet dreams, Byakuya" Rukia said in a very unsure way. Silly! What are you thinking?!She mentally slap herself for her stupidity. All she could do at the moment to hide her furiously blushing face is to admire the floor beside his feet.

After gathering enough courage, Rukia look back at Byakuya for any violent reaction from her stupid and utterly disrespectful way of wishing him goodnight.

"Good night, Rukia" Byakuya greeted back after which he exited the room, as if that was what he was waiting for from her.

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It had been a few minutes since Rukia returned to her bedroom, after eating dinner with Byakuya. And yet all she could do at the moment is recall the scenes from earlier. In those scenes, Byakuya's smile itched vividly in her memory. She could admit that, in all those decades she lived with him, never did she had the honor to see even a single smile graced on his beautiful lips.

Lips.

I wonder if what the SWA magazine editor wrote about his lips is true.

Is he really a terrible kisser?

Nah! I doubt that. His lips is so full and lush, I bit just a touch of it will blow anyone's mind!

"Tsk tsk" suddenly Sode no Shirayuki snickered inside her mind. "I guess you should ask Kuchiki-sama to kiss you rather than assume his a good kisser all on your own" she commented.

At the sound of Shirayuki's voice in her mind, Rukia was awoken from her thought inside her plane of mind. "Shirayuki" she called to her zanpakto, the beautiful white haired woman was seating on one of the branches of the fallen tree inside her plane looking abet entertained for some reason. The vast land of snow stretched as far as her eyes can go, the only thing that exist aside from the eternal ice where fallen branches of frozen trees.

"What is it Rukia-sama? Are you perhaps going to ask if I ever kissed anyone?" Shirayuki asked playfully at the raven haired lady in front of her. When she did not hear her mistress's answer, she proceed to humor her. "Actually I wasn't a very experienced kisser myself, but I could say I knew how it's done. I did practice kissing with someone though, I believe that one day you will come to me to ask for advice" her zanpakto informed.

At this declaration, Rukia gasped accusingly at her zanpakto. "W-When did you have the time to do that?" she asked flabbergasted. She had never thought that her zanpakto could leave her side without her knowing and much less have anyone visit her own plane of mind. Her brows furrowed together in confusion.

Shirayuki, smiled at her mistress. She knew what was exactly running around her mind right now, and she certainly could assure her mistress that it was not intentional how she was able to go outside of her plane without permission from her. "I was summoned" she said. "Yet most of the time, he just visit here. See this tree branch" she pointed at the one she was seating on. "He brought it here for me"

Rukia's eyes widen in unbelief. How can a zanpakto just enter her plane and actually bring something from the outside. She looked at the tree branch her zanpakto was pointing. Now that she observed it properly, she did noticed its oddity. That tree branch isn't frozen just like the other trees inside her plane. "H-how did this happened? When did the visitor started to come inside my plane?" she asked curiously at her. As she analyze her zanpakto's words, she could discern that the visitor had been visiting for quite sometime now.

And why did you not tell me? Rukia wanted to add, she felt betrayed for some reason.

Shirayuki smiled. "5 decades ago" she answered with a hint of blush threatening to appear on her pale white skin.

At Shirayuki's answer Rukia was stunned.

"I didn't know how he manage to come visit me in your plane" Shirayuki admitted. "If possible, I don't want to mention the visitor's identity, Rukia-sama" she added shyly.

Rukia was left speechless at Shirayuki's confession. She did not even think that Shirayuki would ever hide something from her. She stared at her perplexed zanpakto and noticed how her cheeks were in flames.

"Ok. If you don't want to talk about it for now. I'll respect your decision. I just hope that you won't hide anything from me again" Rukia said as she turn to leave from her plane.

"Rukia-sama" Shirayuki called worriedly at her mistress.

Rukia stopped advancing as soon as she heard her zanpakto call out to her. Silence fell between them.

"Thank you" Shirayuki uttered after a while. At that, Rukia decided to exit her plane of mind, where the vast ocean of snow and fallen frozen forest of trees, stretched as far as her eyes could see.

Rukia woke up and found herself lying on her back inside her bedroom. She took her time to stare at the ceiling for a couple of times before deciding to rise from the bed.

It seems that my connection with Shirayuki isn't as strong as I suppose. Maybe I should start to reevaluate my ways to achieve bankai. The fact that she chose to hide something from me clearly shows that she did not trust me enough. I need to reestablish a tighter bond with Shirayuki!

Rukia vowed. She slowly moved closer to the closet and took her coat. She decided to take a walk in the garden for tonight to clear her mind. Upon exiting on the eastern side of the manor towards the garden, she took her time to feel the coldness of the night and listen to the soft rustle of the sakura leaves. She shivered inside her coat, despite how thick it was.

Rukia decided to walk towards the southern part of the manor for some unknown reason, that part of the garden is special. Not only does it had the most beautiful flower and sakura trees planted, but also where the Kuchiki's main burial ground was. As she neared towards the place, she caught sight of a familiar silhouette.

Rukia shunpoed to the top of the sakura branch and tried to hide her riatsu even more. She knew that her technique in hiding her riatsu was excellent but it was futile to hide from Byakuya. As she observed him, She then noticed that he came from the burial ground.

He probably visited lady Hisana.

Rukia thought to herself. A slight discomfort settled on the pit of her stomach. Honestly, she could not casually call the late lady kuchiki as her nee-san for some unknown reason; either it is because of strangeness or the fact that she never really knew her.

It had been a century since Lady Hisana died but it seems Nii-s-Byakuya had yet to move on from her. The fact that I looked like her made it probably impossible for him to remarry. I knew how much he is suffering and I knew that he would remain to be lonely, if he would never knew what it would feel to form a family of his own. All I wanted for him is to continue smiling as he did a while ago. If I need be a substitute for what he had lost. I don't mind taking substitute affection from him.

At that thought, Rukia jumped from the branch and decided to walk towards him.

"Rukia" Byakuya called her as though he was whispering her name in the wind.

Rukia raised her head to look up at him. She could see determination in his eyes and she silently wondered what is running on his mind. What is he determined to do?

"Byakuya" Rukia called. She decided to drop the "sama" because she wanted for him to be close to her as possible. She vowed to mend the hole in his heart, no matter how deep it is.

Silence filled the air as the sakura leaves fell gracefully on them.

"Rukia" Byakuya called her name in a way it sent shivers on her body. "The engagement party would be 2 days after tomorrow" he said.

Rukia looked up at him. She tried to stare at his beautiful eyes to see where he was leading her, but just as always, she is unable to read him.

"Hai" Rukia said. She stood at her position and did her best not to lower her gaze from him. She is determined to cope up with his emotionlessness.

"I shall see you then at the occasion. I gather that Unohana will be taking you to stay at her house for the preparation tomorrow" Byakuya informed Rukia. "Sleep Rukia" he ordered as he turned away.

At that, Rukia lowered her gaze and stared at his retreating feet. A familiar pain marred the deepest part of her heart. It was ridiculous idea, though she actually hoped that Byakuya would stay beside her for tonight and talk about how they would make this engagement to work. It seems, even the thought of becoming substitute was impossible for he really did not see her in that light.

Rukia clinched her fist.

I am tired of him pretending to not care! I am too tired of feeling weak whenever he is around! I will not let him walk away. Not now!

"Byakuya, I love you" Rukia declared in one breath.

Byakuya stopped walking as soon as he heard her declaration. He was so shocked at her words that he thought that he was hallucinating.

"Byakuya marry me for real. I promised to stay beside you forever" Rukia continued to say. She didn't care that she sounded ridiculous and silly. All she wanted to do is to make Byakuya treat her as his fiancée, and not like the sister he sentenced to death 50 years ago. His parting words from a while ago made her remember his cold nature back when she was imprisoned. And she never wanted for him to distance himself to her again. Even if she didn't really love him in that way, she knew that her love for him as someone who would like to see him happy, is enough to bare becoming a substitute.

"I love you" Rukia said again, yet this time it was so soft Byakuya could barely hear it.

"Rukia" Byakuya said as he turned, and moved towards her and lifted her chin up to him. He looked down at her beautiful violet irises. He was trying to read her but it seems that Rukia finally did master the way of concealing her emotion. Against his better judgement, he moved his face towards her own.

Rukia unconsciously held her breath from how close Byakuya's handsome face is to her. She bit her lip to stop it from saying anything that would cause him to stop his movement. Slight blush spread throughout her cheeks from the imagery that absentmindedly popped on her mind. When did I become such a pervert?

Byakuya was about to move his lips close to her pink ones as though he is being enchanted. He noticed, how the moon seems to reflect its beauty on Rukia's pale face while her beautiful raven bang, elegantly framed her face. He had never imagined before that he would be able to peer at her face and look directly at those eyes, the eyes he tried so hard to avoid looking at for many years.

Rukia closed her eyes unable to bare the image of Byakuya trying to kiss her on the lips. The thought of his hair tickling the side of her face was unbearable and if not for her determination to change their relationship, she would have collapsed on her feet and apologizes for all eternity.

Byakuya noticed Rukia's closed eyes, so he decided to retreat from her. "Sleep Rukia, you're tired" he said as he let his hand that was holding her chin rested back to his side. Then he turned away without looking at her.

Rukia was left staring at his back. This time, her senses returned to her and she tried to breathe as evenly as she could. She just finally realized that she was holding her breath for far too long.

Suddenly she heard a soft chuckle. Rukia's brow twitched.
OPgirl chapter 1 . 11/15
FIX IT FIC

s/3076558/1/Substitute-Affections

Substitute Affections
By: Akane-Rei
To be married out of duty, can two people find a way to bridge the abyss before them? Byakuya x Rukia.
Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Byakuya K., Rukia K. - Chapters: 12 -
Words: 56,648 - Reviews: 486 - Favs: 357 - Follows: 356 -
Updated: Jan 1, 2007 - Published: Jul 30, 2006 - id: 3076558

DISCLAIMER: I DON'T OWN BLEACH AND "SUBSTITUTE AFFECTIONS" BY Akane-Rei! I am just a simple reader/writer who come across this fic in 2017, and discovered that it had been discontinued for 10 years now. Therefore, I decided to put an end to its hiatus as best as I can. I hope the original author don't mind my sluggish writing. I am an amateur writer, so please forgive my errors.-OPgirl

CHAPTER 13: Dinner after the Storm
Rukia was very shocked at the moment. Is that a smile I saw just a millisecond ago?!
It was not only Rukia who was stunned at the display of emotion, the head of the Kuchiki clan showed. Never did the servants in the Kuchiki manor thought that their lord will ever smile again, after such a very long time lady Hisana had passed away. Perhaps the match the Kuchiki Elders have made is for the best.
Rukia felt like all the blood on her body rushed to her face. She never expected to be blown away by Byakuya’s killer smile. So when she tried to pinch her palm and dig some of her nails on it, she realize just how much the smile transformed his stoic face into a very handsome visage.
Handsome?! Did I just thought that Byakuya is handsome?
Rukia mentally wondered at the moment how she was still alive and breathing. Because for some weird reasons, she expected that wrath of God will descend upon her, for thinking about her brother in adoption, and brother in law, as a man! And not just any kind of man! But a very handsome man!
Oh God! Forgive me for I have sinned.
Rukia mentally groaned.
Oh! How am I gonna ever look at him the same way again?!
Rukia is very silly. Apparently, she forgot that it is actually very acceptable for her to think about him that way, because duh! Byakuya is her Fiancee!
Rukia decided to run away from that very embarrassing scenario.
“Nii-sama, may I excuse myself?” Rukia hastily said without meeting Byakuya’s eyes and quickly replaced her expression into one of her Kuchiki mask.
Byakuya on the other hand, was gravely bothered about the change on her expression. As he listened to her request to be excused, he felt a sting on his insides. He briefly wondered what it was but soon realized, it was; Rejection.
Byakuya turn around to leave, unable to dismiss Rukia properly or even look at her. He doesn’t understand why he felt that way but he knew that it is beyond him. Rejection, is a word that he was not familiar with, since never in his life had he felt out-rightly rejected. Though his mind is in conflict about what to do with this feeling, the expression never floated on his stoic face- the smile on it felt like a mirage.
Rukia’s shoulder slumped after Byakuya turned around. She felt a little dejected and she wondered why. Byakuya had been always like this, she should have not be bothered by his coldness anymore, but apparently she could not at the moment. Suddenly, the words from somebody floated in her ears like a devils whisper.
Byakuya will be able freeze Rukia faster than Sode no Shirayuki.
As soon as Byakuya was about to enter his room, he turned to look back at where Rukia had been but suddenly he found himself looking at his fiancée’s beautiful face. She was apparently looking at him in a very melancholic way that it hurt. He wanted to turn away from staring at her but he just don’t want to leave her that way.
Byakuya knew too well about that face, the face that time and time again he disappointed and abandoned. Oh, what would he would not pay just to see her smile? He would not care if all his fortunes would be spent just to make his pride (Rukia) happy beside him. At that moment, he decided to enter his room without looking back.
Rukia felt like her tears would fall from her eyes if she would not stop staring at the closed door. Silly! What did I expect?
Rukia decided to enter her room as well, she immediately took off her Shinigami robes on the bed until she was bare naked. She walked towards the bathroom and found that the tub was filled with warm water. She soaked on the tub and closed her eyes, to try and relax her mind.
Even though Rukia announced that morning, that she would be staying at her squad barracks, the servants had prepared her warm bath all the same. If not for her adoptive relatives most of the times staying with them at the manor, she would even consider being more relaxed in her room than at the barracks.
After sometime, Rukia got out of the tub and towel dried herself. She took another fluffy towel to dry off her long raven hair. As she secured her hair with the towel, she approached her closet and selected the lavender kimono from one of her everlasting collection of expensive kimono. Although, she had those collections, she could swear that she had only worn 10 kimono from all of it. She doesn’t have the time to wear most of it because of the nature of her work.
Rukia sighed. She herself wondered why the servants seem to give her kimono every once in a while. At one time, she would be awoken in the morning and find a set of expensive kimono lying beside her bed.
Rukia wore the lavender kimono and proceed to comb her long black hair. After sometime, the servant that was waiting outside her room knocked.
“Rukia-sama, Lord Kuchiki is awaiting you at the dining room” the female servant announced from behind the soji door.
Rukia hasten her movement and quickly check herself over the mirror. She took one of the pins from her cabinet and tucked it to hold the long stray of hair that stacked on her face to the side of her hair. Great! Not a hair is out of place.
Rukia immediately approached her door and walk out of her room. She walked as gracefully as she could towards the dining room. The servants opened the door to the dining room for her and she entered as quietly as she could, not wanting to draw any attention from Byakuya.
Rukia lowered her gaze as she slowly settled herself beside Byakuya’s chair. She did not bother to look up, knowing that he is busy reading some paperwork from his squad. “Good evening, Byakuya” she greeted respectfully before sitting. Oblivious to herself and her surroundings.
After settling herself on the chair, Rukia raised her gaze to look at the silent Byakuya beside her. She wondered why she hadn’t heard any response from him. Normally, Byakuya would return her greeting or make some kind of movement that told her that he heard her. As soon as she lifted her eyes to him, her breath was caught on her lungs. Her mouth suddenly dried.
Byakuya was practically sparkling with handsomeness. Rukia squinted her eyes, to clear her vision. Yet as soon as she look at him again, all she could see is his killer smile. She is speechless. She wasn’t sure if something is wrong with her or with Byakuya.
“Rukia, close your mouth. A fly might get in” Byakuya commented seriously. Though the manor might never be visited by any sort of fly in the next thousand years.
Rukia did not know if Byakuya is joking or being dead serious right now. She mentally debated wither to laugh at his joke? Or to apologize for being improper. She decided that apologizing is acceptable.
“I am very sorry, Byakuya-sama” she said after a while. Sensing that Byakuya ignored her apology, she started to eat from her plate. This scenario is too familiar to her not to know how to cope up with his silence.
Byakuya observed Rukia from the corner of his eyes. Seeing her wear her hair like that, she looked like the perfect Kuchiki lady. Everything about her screamed nobility, the way she eat, and the way she hold her tea cup and sip from it. Her dainty hands poured the tea from the kettle in the most graceful way he had ever seen anybody do. Indeed, Sarada and the Elders have been right about their decision. I never doubted Rukia to achieve this level of grace even from the start.
At that thought, Byakuya started to eat from his plate as will.
Rukia on the other hand, glance from her plate every once in a while. She wanted to assist Byakuya if he ever need anything. After a while, she let herself wonder about what happened a few minutes ago. Honestly, the smile she saw on his face as soon as she entered the room had been like an illusion, since no trace of it can be seen from his now stoic face. For some unknown reason, she wanted to see those smile again, even if it did not really existed in the first place.
Rukia shook her head.
Byakuya noticed Rukia’s movement. He wanted to ask her about it but stopped himself from commenting any further. He learned from experience that whenever he told something to her, it ended very sourly for both of them. His failed attempt for humor earlier proved that fact about him.
Although he had not been able to stop himself from smiling as soon as Rukia called him Byakuya unintentionally, it fueled him to try to joke with her. But his joke resulted to her apologizing for the nth time. He lost the will to even chastise her from apologizing to him too much.
After sometime, they both finished eating their meal. Byakuya wanted to ask her about her day, but decided against it seeing as her day might have been as stressful as his day had been. Instead he remained silent the whole time.
Rukia on the other hand, is aching to be excused. For some reason, she found Byakuya’s glances quite uncomfortable.
I think Byakuya-sama is evaluating me or something. I just wish, I did not made any mistake. I’ve been training myself to be a proper lady for over a century, I can’t afford to make him see any flaws in my training, or else I will never hear the end of Sarada’s lecture, if he knew I was behaving poorly with my table manners.
Rukia thought frustrated. She had already finished her meal. Glancing from her seat, she noticed that Byakuya finished as well. Yet neither of them moved, as if waiting for a cue.
After sometime, Byakuya stood from his chair. Rukia followed suite. When they both reach near the door, he looked at her as if waiting for something from her.
Rukia looked puzzled for a few seconds. “Good night, Byakuya-sama” she said after realizing that Byakuya might be waiting for her greeting.
Byakuya did not move away from the door, nor did he give a hint to what he expected from Rukia. Because honestly, he did not know what is he expecting from her.
Rukia is very confused by now. She was trying to remember, anything that she forgot to do, since by the looks of it, Byakuya is waiting something from her.
“Have a sweet dreams, Byakuya” Rukia said in a very unsure way. Silly! What are you thinking?!She mentally slap herself for her stupidity. All she could do at the moment to hide her furiously blushing face is to admire the floor beside his feet.
After gathering enough courage, Rukia look back at Byakuya for any violent reaction from her stupid and utterly disrespectful way of wishing him goodnight.
“Good night, Rukia” Byakuya greeted back after which he exited the room, as if that was what he was waiting for from her.
TO BE CONTINUED….
OPgirl chapter 11 . 11/15
I SO LOVE THIS FIC! GO BR! thank you for this wonderful story Akane- Rei :) ...pls. let me get my hand with your story... I want to continue this as best as I could...because I sooooooo love your plot.

DISCLAIMER: I DON'T OWN BLEACH AND "SUBSTITUTE AFFECTIONS" BY Akane-Rei! I am just a simple reader/writer who come across this fic in 2017, and discovered that it had been discontinued for 10 years now. Therefore, I decided to put an end to its hiatus as best as I can. I hope the original author don't mind my sluggish writing. I am an amateur writer, so please forgive my errors.-OPgirl

A/N: I will continue the story starting at chapter 11, because I believe chapter 12 is rushed and it actually killed the magic in the story (I am sorry for being blunt) BUT NONETHELESS THE STORY IS AMAZING!

CHAPTER 12: Semblance of a Smile
It had been an hour since Byakuya left the vice-captain of the first division after their argument, yet setting inside his office while busying himself with the paperwork did nothing to stop his mind from dragging back to his meeting with the captain commander.
Kuchiki and Shiba clan alliance…..
I need to have a word with the Elders. Byakuya thought.
After skimming through the paperwork on his table, Byakuya stood up from his chair and proceeded to exit his office, not even taking note of the fact that his second in command did not show up for work. On his way out of his squad barracks, he could discern the furtive glances from the new recruits but did not pay any attention since a more pressing matter is on hand.
Byakuya had known about the captain commanders wish to coerce the Shiba clan to settle inside the walls of Seretei but to no avail. In the end, he had thought at some point an alliance between one of the remaining 4 noble families through marriage will make the Shibas to return. But it never occurred to him that the commander will be so bold to actually meddle in the affairs of his clan, none the less propose a match between Ganju Shiba and his sister, Rukia. Yet, what irked him was the thought that Sarada’s decision to marry Rukia to him could have been greatly influenced by commander’s bold proposal to ally Kuchiki clan and Shiba clan. He knew how Sarada dislike the Shibas.
Byakuya practically shunpoed his way to the head elder advisor’s office in the Kuchiki estate. Although he viewed that his union with Rukia is for the best, it did not go will with him the fact that Sarada is putting his personal interest ahead of the clan. A minute after arriving at the vicinity, the guards and servants bow to him in respect, though he just pass through them without giving much thought.
Byakuya was escorted towards the elder’s office, as he approached the door, he noticed a shadow at one of the branches of the sakura tree besides the building. Nonetheless, he tried to ignore it knowing that it would be bothersome to try to catch the werecat.
“Sarada-sama, Kuchiki-sama had arrived” the servant escorting Byakuya suddenly announced. After a while the door was opened by Sarada and motioned for him to come inside.
“Byakuya-sama, what brings you here to my office this late in the afternoon?” Sarada asked respectfully.
“Shiba alliance” Byakuya uttered. He noticed how the cunning old man flinch at the mention of the rival clan.
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Rukia was glad she visited the Shibas, because unlike the discomfort she felt after yesterday’s sudden news of her upcoming marriage to Byakuya, relaxation and normalcy are the only thing she craved. Though, the Shiba siblings were a little uneasy around her, but she choose not to think more about it.
As the sun started to set in the horizon, Rukia decided to bid farewell to the Shibas. As always, Kukaku tried to wrestle her into a tight hug, saying something about not being wimpy. Honestly, the Shiba antics never fail to put a smile to her lips.
It must be nice to live like a Shiba….no care in the world and no pretenses.
Rukia shook her head. Her wishful thinking would never change the fact that the clan that adopted and sheltered her for century was a very strict and cold one.
Rukia started to shunpo back to the Kuchiki manor. As the wind softly caress her face and hair, her mind drifted to the precious times of her life. It had been almost 50 years since Ichigo came and rescued her, the time when the treachery of Aizen was revealed and how her Nii-Byakuya-sama rescued him from Gin’s blade. And when Byakuya confessed to her about the real reason behind her adoption.
Hisana is your older sister.
Rukia could still remember how he let her hold his hand and utter those words of apology to her.
Rukia….I am sorry
Ever since that fateful day, Rukia felt that somehow Byakuya is not as cold as everybody else think. That he isn’t as cruel as most people assume him to be. Though, nothing much about their relationship changed, she could tell that at some point, his cold exterior and silence doesn’t bother her. Over the decades, she strived to excel on everything she do, to make Nii-Byakuya-sama and the Kuchiki clan to acknowledge her.
Rukia bit her lower lip. She almost thought that she was on the way of finally getting her clan to be proud of her and deeming her as worthy Kuchiki, yet after the proposal of marriage they offered yesterday to her, she felt like everything she did to build an impression with her clan Elders crumbled. The way they treated her like, she doesn’t have the right to speak for herself and as though she was an outsider.
Honestly though, haven’t the Elders thought that if marrying Nii-sam-Byakuya-sama is what it takes to perform my obligation to the clan, that I will not oppose? It clearly shows their lack of confidence towards my dedication to the family.
Rukia thought about the steps the Kuchiki Elders took, just to push her into marrying her Nii-. Shit! How many times do I have to slip up saying Ni-huff! Byakuya-sama! Byakuya
Rukia continued to chant his name while jumping from the roof of the houses in Rukongai. Meanwhile, the sun has completely sunk in the horizon and only few of its rays illuminated the surrounding. At this moment, she remembered the incident yesterday’s evening at Renji’s apartment.
Idiots. I tried to follow Byakuya’s advice to inform them personally about my upcoming marriage, but it turn out it was much more difficult than I thought. Seeing the two idiots, made me think how ridiculous my dilemma might have sound, to just casually announce my wedding with the most unexpected person. Thus, I ended up borrowing strength from a sake. What a foolish notion.
Rukia shook her head. Kukaku’s voice still ringing on her ears.
You’ve become such a wimp, Rukia!
“I am not a wimp!” Rukia exclaimed to no one else in particular. She is not wimp. Far from it. Though the others might view her as such for accepting the proposal of marriage to Byakuya. “Huff! I will show them whose wimp! I am not being a wimp to accept my fate, I am just trying to be of use to the Kuchiki clan.” She whispered the last sentences in a sad tone.
Not after soon, Rukia noticed the forest that leads to the Kuchiki estate after entering the Seretei walls from the eastern gate. By this time, she decided to take her time and walk along the forest route. Suddenly, out of nowhere Rukia noticed a shadow walking towards her from the opposite side of the forest route. Instantly her hand flew to the hilt of her sword, preparing to draw it at any moment.
“Rukia” the oh so familiar voice called her from the distance.
Rukia withdraw her hand from her sword and stood up properly as soon as she recognized him. “Good evening Nii-sama” she greeted him as soon as he reached her.
Byakuya stilled at Rukia’s greeting, but he doesn’t want to reprimand her for the word she used to address him. “Good evening Rukia” he greeted back. After sometime, silence hung in between them except for the sound of the environment; the cackling of the animals in the forest and the occasional rustle of leaves from the nearby trees.
Rukia moved almost instinctively beside Byakuya. At this, the two started walking without uttering a word to each other. She positioned herself a few steps behind him and followed where ever he goes without question.
Byakuya at this moment felt somewhat relieved to finally see Rukia after such a long and drastic day. Meeting with the commander, having a word with Sarada, and an unavoidable meeting with the werecat certainly drained all his energy, though his appearance doesn’t show any sign of tiredness.
As soon as both of them reached the gate to the Kuchiki manor, the guards greeted them and shyly congratulated them for the upcoming nuptials. Byakuya just nodded his head and proceeded to walk ahead. As he did so, he took a moment to glance sideways towards the woman walking beside him.
Ah. Woman. Byakuya wondered, when he had started to see the girl he adopted a century ago as a woman. Honestly, he didn’t exactly knew. He just woke up someday realizing that Rukia had become more than a promise, she is his pride and always will be.
It did not escape to him, the hardships that Rukia endured all this time to become who she is today, an exceptionally strong Shinigami and an elegant noble woman. If he would be honest to himself, he believed that even he is not worthy of her attention much less become her husband. In fact No one is worthy enough for her hand, neither Kurosaki nor his vice-captain, or anybody else for that matter.
“Byakuya” Rukia called as soon as they entered the main house.
Byakuya abruptly stopped walking without his knowledge. Hearing Rukia utter his first name for the first time without honorific made him feel like the air is knocked out from him and his eyes widen for a few milliseconds. Never in his wildest dream, imagined that Rukia will someday call his name like that.
Upon seeing Byakuya stopped walking, Rukia immediately realized her fatal mistake. Although he is her fiancée now, she knew that being bold and disrespectful towards the head of the Kuchiki clan is bad. “I am very sorry Nii-Byakuya-sama!” she hurriedly apologized.
“Rukia” Byakuya said in an emotionless tone. “Do not apologize for calling me by my given name. I don’t mind”
At his statement, Rukia raised her head to look at his face, apparently she did not believe that she heard Byakuya right. Seeing as he is quite serious, she decided to drop the matter and better watch whatever her mouth uttered in his presence. “Hai Byakuya-sama” she said.
Byakuya just turn away and started walking. “Come, Rukia” he said.
Hearing him, Rukia immediately resumed her position walking beside Byakuya. She was a bit relieved that he did not reprimand her like a child for misbehaving.
Upon reaching Rukia’s bedroom door, Byakuya stopped for a while. Rukia stopped as well.
“I am expecting to dine with you for tonight. I take that you have not eaten your meal” Byakuya said matter of factly.
Rukia involuntary nodded, though she was tempted to lie about eating a meal at the Shiba house. Yet she bit back her retort, knowing that she did not inform Byakuya about her visit with the Shibas. “Hai Byakuya-sama” she agreed.
Byakuya resumed walking towards the nearby room, which is just a couple of soji doors away from Rukia’s room.
Seeing that Byakuya started to walk away, Rukia against her better judgement, call out to him. “Byakuya-sama”
Byakuya stopped mid step and turn to face Rukia inquiringly.
“Welcome home” Rukia said as she bowed deeply. A flush started to form on her cheeks in embarrassment. Fool! What had possess you to say that!?
But honestly though, Rukia had been meaning to say that to him for almost a century, yet she did not have the courage to say it to his stoic face whenever he returned from his duties.
“Thank you” Byakuya said with a hint of sincerity. The sides of his lip curved into a semblance of a very tiny smile.
Rukia was very shocked at the moment. Is that a smile I saw just a millisecond ago?!
It was not only Rukia who was stunned at the display of emotion, the head of the Kuchiki clan showed. Never did the servants in the Kuchiki manor thought that their lord will ever smile again, after such a very long time lady Hisana had passed away. Perhaps the match the Kuchiki Elders have made is for the best.

TO BE CONTINUED…..
LittleRock17 chapter 12 . 5/25
So, this is It? I can't believe you left us like this! Just when the story was taking of... Its been 84 years, sorry, 10 years! I NEED more!
I'llBiteYouToDeath chapter 12 . 6/22/2015
I love this chapter! The part where Rukia lost control and physically silenced Byakuya with her hand was so cute And when he stopped her with his hand too! Oh the impulse reactions from them is just tooooooooo . HAHA.

WHAT BROKE MY HEART MORE WAS TO REALIZE THAT THIS WAS THE LATEST CHAPTER /3 HUUUU I KNOW IT'S BEEN 8 YEARS SINCE YOU LAST UPDATED THIS BUT PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LET THERE BE A MIRACLE AND PLEASE UPDATE THIS T_T
I'llBiteYouToDeath chapter 1 . 6/22/2015
OMG. Definitely a nice start here! Please do continue! :)
Los Grotos chapter 1 . 6/4/2015
Ohmigod. Poor babies.
Anusree Ghosh chapter 12 . 12/12/2014
Hey Rei,
First of all, AMAZING STORY!
Second of all, Can u plz continue the story?! PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE ! I would love it if u continue... please

A CRAZY OTAKU's request!
Yueru chapter 10 . 10/7/2014
NICE! U hav draged me innnn !
Yueru chapter 5 . 10/7/2014
Very very wanna read more and more. Very very awesome
Yueru chapter 2 . 10/7/2014
Impressive !
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