Reason – Well here is me and another attempt at a FanFic. This one keeps coming back to me though, so I hope and can carry through with this, I urge you all to harass me to write the next chapter and such but to important the disclaimer and the actual story.
Disclaimer – I do not own Bleach or any of the characters in this story.
Beauty and the Beast
Chapter 1 - Enter the Beauty
The Cupboards clattered loudly as the young black haired girl rummaged through them. She had been all over the house; the pantry and the cupboards were all empty. Kuchiki Rukia was going to kill her brother.
If he took food, he could at least have the decency to tell her they were out. How the hell was he going to make breakfast now? He'd be mad and there would be a whole deal about it, and it would be all his fault!
She went to the kitchen door and flung it open, making it clatter on its hinges, threatening to come off them. She took a few steps outside before she stopped to look around. It wasn't all that light yet, barely after dawn but she could already feel the life in the air. She looked around the small property, not big enough for crops, and barely large enough for the one horse, lone cow and chicken coop she and her brother owned.
Rukia decide she would head down to the town they lived on the edge of, after all food was needed. She caught sight of her brother Byakuya in their tiny field and waved to him. He didn't notice, not that Rukia expected him to; he had his sword in hand and was practicing, swinging the blade through the air.
Living in the country did not suit Kuchiki Byakuya. Once upon a time he had been rich and noble, he was being groomed to be a lord and he would have been well know some day. It would have all happened if he had not met Hisana, Rukia's older sister. They fell in love and much to the protest of Byakuya's parents they were married. Byakuya was disowned after that and he and Hisana moved to the small little cottage.
Rukia was born after Hisana had left, and when her parents had passed on she had no place to go but to the sister she didn't know. Hisana died within a year of Rukia joining them, being ill for some time before. The house had seemed so small, too small for three people to live in, but after Hisana was gone it seemed far too large for Byakuya and Rukia.
She turned her back on her brother now, and started towards the village, picking up a small basket she kept at the side of the house on the way. The little town was not far, a five-minute walk to its edge at least. Rukia' swung the basket as she walked. When she got closer she could see people running around, doing morning chores and things the like. There were more people the further she got into the more people there were in the streets. Some would smile at her and some would wave, then after she past by she caught a number of people turning to each other and whispering out of the corner of her eye. She and Byakuya had been the most interesting thing to happen in this little town for a long time, they were the main topic of gossip. Rukia hated it. Being on the outside was not a fun thing.
When she got to the market she walked around, looking from stall to stall, pretending to look at food but she didn't seriously think of buying anything until she reached one stall in specific. It looked like all the other ones but it was by far Rukia's favourite place to purchase the food she needed. It was run by a farmer who lived near by, unfortunately the poor man was sick often and didn't get into market that often. He employed two younger people from the village to do most of his work for him. Yet today here he was peddling potatoes to people of the village. He was one of the nicest men she had ever met and she enjoyed talking to him.
"Ukitake! You're up and about," She said with a smile when she got to his stall, waving, "That's good to see."
"Ah Ms. Kuchiki, its good to see you too," Ukitake Jyuushiro, a tall white haired man, said setting down a vegetable he was inspecting and walking over to her with a smile, "What can I help you with today?"
"Food. Byakuya ate all the food in the house again," Rukia sighed, "So I thought who better to help me in my predicament than my favourite farmer. And call me Rukia, I don't know how many times I've told you that."
"You flatter me, but I'd be happy to help," He smiled again and turned to look at his at the he employed to help him, "Kyone! Sentarou! I want you to find the best of the crop for Ms- Rukia."
"Yes sir!" The young man and woman chirped in reply.
"I'll find the best food," Kyone said as she started to look through trying to find the best of the best.
"No, I will!" Sentarou snapped do the same.
"Like you could find good food bearded-monkey!"
"At least I could find better food than you booger girl!"
Rukia started to laugh, it was the same thing every time she saw the two; they were always trying to out do each other for the sake of their employer. I was truly amusing. Ukitake just sighed and shook his head, looking back at Rukia and trying to ignore the other two.
"So how have things been with you and your brother?" He inquired.
"The same as always," Rukia replied simply.
"So he isn't talking or showing any sign of emotion what so ever?"
"It's not his fault, he took losing your sister hard..."
"About thirteen years ago."
"You never get over someone you loved, and he really loved her. He might never go back to the way he was before, but give him time, as much as he needs," Ukitake said, it was the usual sort of wisdom he spouted that drew Rukia to him.
"You're talking from experience aren't you?" It wasn't really a question, she knew he was and she knew he was talking about too.
"Well Kaien is a little different, I wasn't in love with him. At least not in the same way Byakuya loved Hisana. Kaien was a good friend whom I will never forget," Ukitake said, the smile on his face had changed, he was still happy, but the kind of happy when you think of good times that you know will never happen again.
Kaien was a farm hand Ukitake had before Kyone and Sentarou. He did everything for Ukitake and lived with him. He and Rukia had become rather good friends as well, even if he was a good number of years older than she was. He had however met an unfortunate end too young. Rukia was twelve when they had brought his body back from the forest, mangled by some wild animal.
Kyone then came running forward her arms full of food, not knowing or really caring about the sad atmosphere that hung over her employer and Rukia. "Not only the best but the fastest too," she beamed.
"Its only the fastest because you hit me in the groin!" Sentarou barked as he came forward with his own food.
"You got in my way its your own fault! Now Rukia, here," Kyone said practically forcing the food on the other girl.
"NO! Take mine!"
"Stop it both of you," Ukitake said, his voice only raised a little but that was enough to get the two to stop, "Rukia will take all the food."
"Oh, Ukitake I couldn't do-" Rukia started but was cut off.
"Yes you could, and don't worry about paying for all of it now. This way you don't have to worry about getting more food for a while, even if that brother of yours chooses to eat some." Ukitake pat her on the head, "No be a good girl and take the food."
Rukia smiled at him and held out her basket for Kyone and Sentarou to tip the food they had gathered for her in. Other people had gathered around and Rukia thought it was time she got back to her brother so she said goodbye to the three of them and smiled once more at Ukitake before turning her back and walking away.
There were more people now, having come while she talked with Ukitake and getting out of the market was a task. She weaved this way and that trying not to step on anyone or anything and at the same time not wanting to drop any of the food she had. When she got to a point where the crowd thinned out she let out a relieved sigh and quickened her pace. However someone called out her name, which caused her to stumble and nearly fall flat on her face.
"Good morning Ms. Rukia"
She knew the voice and if she had seen him first she would have taken measures to avoid him. Yet with her tripping showed she heard him and now she had no choice. She turned around with the closest thing to a smile she could muster.
"Good morning Aizen."
The brunette smiled at her, a charming smile, nothing less could be expected from him. He was a nice man and even relatively handsome but something about him rubbed Rukia the wrong way. She sore she had seen him kick a puppy one day. She couldn't stand his lackey either, a white haired freak that was always smiling, Ichimaru Gin. Sure enough Gin was there now, hovering behind Aizen, looking at her with his perpetually closed eyes and his creepy smile.
"Ms. Rukia how many times have I told you to call me Sousuke," Aizen said, "I was wondering how you were doing today?"
"Fine, I was just getting some food for my brother's breakfast," She replied casting a look behind her in the direction of her home trying to a hint that she wanted to be going on her way.
"Ah yes, you take good care of your brother don't you? I envy the man who makes you his wife someday," Aizen replied, dropping some hints of his own.
Aizen had been saying things like that for nearly half a year now, repeatedly mention Rukia married and himself in the same sentence, it was one of the reasons she wished to avoid him so much.
"While it will be a while before you have to envy anyone for that reason," she spoke as she took a step backwards, "I really should be getting back home now."
"Yes, yes of course. I'm sorry to have kept you," he made a bow like gesture.
Rukia took no time getting out of there. She turned quickly and broke into a near run, just as fast as she could go without dropping anything. Aizen watched her until she was out of site and then narrowed his eyes.
"She blew you off again," Gin said smirking (only a slight difference from his normal look).
"She can't do it forever," Aizen said turning to his comrade, "She will be mine."
Author's Note - Well there you go, the first chapter I like it. I debated for a long time who was going to be the farmer Rukia was going to buy food from.. Oringinally it was Urahara, him being a shop owner and all, but how I did it works better in the long run for me, I hope to get Urahara in later.
Next Chapter - Enter the Beast