A/N: I originally intended this for Brighter Than Sunshine. Within a paragraph of starting, I knew it wasn't going to be that easy. As you might guess, these two demanding personas were not willing to settle for anything less than their own stage, so I have accomodated them with a story of their own. Take any of your complaints to them, as I have clearly lost control of my own creation.

Once he made his choice he carefully reconsidered it, going over every detail that had led him to the current conclusion in his mind. He had made mistakes in his lifetime, and he was not interested in doing so again. He went over every option in minute detail.

He was once again beholden to his family to take a bride. In the years since he had found and retrieved Rukia, he had been able to deflect such demands with little more than his cold indifference. He was not dying. There was no need to worry about the future of the Kuchiki name, not just yet. But then Rukia left the manor—she had never called it home, no matter how often he asked her to or how soft he attempted to make his voice when he did so—and he was alone again, just him and the clan elders, and they would no longer be put off.

There were many "suitable" candidates. Of course there would be, when the clan's only requirement was that she be either noble to begin with or capable of being taught the fine art of gentle disdain. So the hints were dropped here and there with the hopes that he would be a good little bird and follow the trail to matrimony.

They would soon learn he had different ideas.

Out of the blue, after a particularly tedious captains' meeting, she was headed toward the door with her buffoon of a vice captain in tow when the nobleman blocked the exit. When she glared up at him, about to insist he remove himself from her path or suffer the consequences, he looked down at her with a face that was more impassive than she had ever seen it. His cold gray eyes narrowed, not scowl, but a clear attempt soften his expression. Failing at that, he bowed, slightly. "Taichou," he said, his voice flat and businesslike, "I wish to declare my intent to make you my wife."

She didn't faint (she was shocked, but she was never given to such unsightly actions) but her vice-captain did.

"Are there not," she scoffed, "more appropriate persons for such a position?"

"There are," he said, "but you are most suitable."

"I am," she said.

"You are," he confirmed.

She shoved past him. "Yes," she shot back from a distance. "And my fukutaichou is a delicate, graceful ballerina."

Ohmaeda was still on the floor, dead to the world. Cookie crumbs seeped from his hakama.

Staring after her, Kuchiki taichou reminded himself that even Hisana took some working on, when it first started.