Title: Wherever the bright sun of heaven shall shine…
Disclaimer: If I ever claim to own Bleach, may Rukia hunt me down like she is about to her own brother…
Spoilers: Up to chapter 188 in the manga.
Summary: Rukia confronts her brother.
This one goes out to Green Amber, who wanted Rukia to lay the smack down on Byakuya.
In his academy days, Renji never thought he would ever appreciate a boring night with nothing better to do than drink sake at the local bar. Of course, a civil war and battle-for-the-world against Arrancars tends to change a person's opinion.
He was enjoying the beginning of the "buzzed" state when he felt a few very familiar reiatsu's – Ichigo's powerful force, Yoruichi's subtle energy, and the carefully erratic aura he had come to associate with Ichigo's father. And then Rukia's…oh man, she was pissed…
He stumbled out of the bar in enough time to see Rukia march past, trailed by the other three. Ichigo caught his arm as they streamed by.
"Oi, Renji," Ichigo grinned at the other Shinigami, dragging him along. "You're going to want to see this."
"What's going on?" The redhead asked.
Yoruichi smiled, showing a bit of fang. "Rukia is going to correct her brother about some of his misperceptions concerning her wedding."
"Huh?" The alcohol was making his brain all fuzzy.
Isshin laughed. "She's going to yell at Byakuya."
"No way!" Renji hurried to keep up with them. "Why?"
"Kuchiki planned on inviting around 400 guests to her wedding without telling her," Ichigo stated. "She's going to inform him that we're doing the wedding her way."
Renji snorted. "Good luck with that. I was that man's Vice-Captain for a few decades – he may be one of the most stubborn bastards I've ever met. Even a temperamental Rukia isn't going to make that man budge."
"Wanna bet?" Ichigo got a gleam in his eye. "I got some nice house chores that I'd love to get rid of next time you travel to the living world."
Renji didn't trust that look, but wasn't about to back down from a challenge. "I accept! But how about, next time I visit, you can take me to that Ramen cart down the street and buy me as much as I can eat."
"Deal." The two shook on it before hurrying after the little black-haired fury.
"So what device did Urahara ask you to test while you were here?" Isshin asked as they trotted along.
With a flourish, Yoruichi pulled a shiny silver DVD camera out of her bag. She winked at the stunned men.
"He's been tinkering with this little toy to see if he could make it capture spirit images." She laughed at their dazed expressions. "He thought that this little trip would be a good time to test it, and it would allow him to see everything he's going to miss."
"That man is an evil genius," Renji said with awe.
Byakuya looked up from his paperwork as his fifth seat walked into the room, shaking nervously. He carefully set his pen down, straightening the papers so that it made a neat pile before addressing the obviously frightened Shinigami.
"Ku…Kuchiki…Kuchiki Rukia…is here t-t-to…" The young man stuttered nervously.
Rukia swept into the room followed by Yoruichi, the two Kurosakis, and Renji. The last four quickly found seats to the left, to better watch the show. Yoruichi pulled a bag of popcorn out of her bag and passed it around.
"Leave!" Rukia barked, making the fifth seat jump. The man stumbled out of the room, bowing nervously.
"Rukia." Byakuya calmly greeted his sister, gesturing to one of the chairs in front of him. "Would you like to take a seat?"
Ichigo coughed to cover up a laugh. The man really had no clue what he was in for. Poor bastard.
"YOU!" Rukia seethed, whipping a scroll everyone recognized as the wedding list out of her robe. She slammed it onto the table, making their audience wince. Byakuya didn't even blink.
He picked up the scroll, calmly looking it over. "This is the guest list for the wedding."
"No!" Furiously, Rukia snatched it away. "This is your list. This is not my guest list."
Byakuya raised an eyebrow. "This is the minimal number of guests that is appropriate for a wedding of this significant social magnitude. Holding a wedding that befits the Kuchiki family requires…"
"Don't give me that crap!" She waved the list wildly, causing Byakuya to lean back to avoid being hit in the face with it. "I'm not going to let my wedding get turned into a social event to demonstrate your inherent superiority over the Shinigami world!"
"You are being unreasonable…" He began to stand, only to be knocked back down when Rukia whapped him with the list. Byakuya looked…stunned.
Isshin cheered and Yoruichi clapped enthusiastically, but the audience was again ignored by the feuding Kuchikis.
"You stay right there!" Rukia glared down at her brother, pointing the list threateningly at him. "And you listen! This is my wedding – mine! – and I am going to get married to my idiot…"
"Hey!" Ichigo yelped. Renji snickered.
Rukia ignored them. "…in the way I decide. Meaning no big guest list which includes half the Court of Pure Souls!"
"400 guests are clearly not half," Byakuya cut in. He was extremely perturbed, you could tell by the scowly eyebrows.
"Did I say you could talk?" She poked him with the list, her scowl matching his.
Byakuya didn't look happy, but he didn't say anything as Rukia began another tirade.
"You know," Yoruichi piped in, for once feeling slightly charitable towards the Sixth Division Captain, "the more guests you have, the more presents you get."
Rukia paused at those words, looking thoughtful. She liked getting stuff. Stuff was nice…
"I've decided." She slammed her palms down on the desk, making her brother jump just a tiny bit. "The wedding will be limited to immediate family and close friends." Rukia cut Byakuya off when he opened his mouth to speak. "No retainers, none of the other noble families. Just family and friends – a nice, quiet ceremony. You will give me away, you will wear a nice suit that I pick out, and you will be damn cheerful about it!"
Byakuya's sour look signified that he understood.
"The people on your guest list will be invited to the greeting part of the reception." She tapped the list against the table. "After all the well-wishing and greetings necessary to fulfill my family obligations are done, these guests will leave and the guests that I invite will stay for dancing and drinking and other merriment that you will also be paying for."
"And," she poked him with the guest list for emphasis, "you will be the one informing Yuzu why she can no longer make the food for the reception because your guest list is too long. Are we clear?"
Byakuya let out a frustrated breath, but nodded stiffly.
"Good." Rukia whirled around. Isshin quickly hid the popcorn behind his back. "Ichigo! I'm going to visit Ukitake-san."
She slammed open the door, causing what looked like half of the Sixth Division to scatter from their eavesdropping huddle. She stormed out of the room, her robes flowing behind her. Ichigo quickly stood up to follow. He slapped Renji on the back on his way out.
"Aw, that was cool!"
Rukia turned to her fiancé, slightly confused. "What?" She had never seen him so energetic.
Ichigo's grin was wide enough to almost split his face. "That was incredible!" He picked her up into an enthusiastic hug. "You just made Kuchiki squirm like a little girl!"
"Huh?" Rukia blinked as he dipped her into a kiss – which she eagerly returned. He came up for air, laughing.
"You hit him with the list! The Kuchiki Byakuya!" Ichigo spun her around, swooping in for another kiss. "The man who makes new recruits tremble in his presence. The man who can off a Menos Grande without messing up a single hair on his stiff, arrogant head. The man who…"
As Ichigo rambled on, Rukia realized what had just happened. She hadn't just argued with Ichigo or Urahara or Renji, she had yelled at Byakuya. Her Nii-sama. The head of the Kuchiki clan. One of the most powerful Captains to ever serve in Soul Society…
"So now what?" Ichigo grinned as he finally set her on her feet. She looked up at him with wide eyes, gripping his arms for support.
"I think I'm going to faint."
And from that day forth, the men of Soul Society (especially the 11th Division, because we all know they love to gossip about things like this) referred to him as "Ichigo the Fearless," the man who had claimed for his own the fiercest woman in all of Soul Society.
Of course, no one was ever brave enough to say this when Rukia was around.
So, another update! I think I've been spoiling you guys. I can't promise to keep up the pace, because school is starting back up and I have this annoying thing called schoolwork that gets in the way.
Responses to reviewers:
Rukia Sakura: Well, I can't have you getting angry with me for making you wait for the Kuchiki fight!
sanriochica333: I think I've been doing pretty well so far on this resolution! We'll see how long it lasts.
FirstxKiss: Goddess is good. I like that, Goddess of Updating. Sort of like Yoruichi, but less cool.
andraq: Of course Urahara manipulated the whole thing! That's what he does – he's a passive-aggressive evil genius.
Green Amber: Well, he wasn't surrounded by his fellow Captains, but you know that between Renji and the Sixth Division, this story is going to get around.
Perhelediel: Maybe it's because it was my first baby, or maybe it's because I'm a sucker for sappy romance, but "The Taming of the Shrew" is still my favorite. Though some of the future chapters for this piece I have running around in my head might give it competition…
kaoru240: In the last chapter, after Rukia's initial angry reaction (which involved slamming flowerpots over both Urahara's and Ichigo's heads) she resigned herself to accept Byakuya's decision. I think she was a little sad and disappointed. Urahara, of course, made her angry again so he could get revenge on Byakuya, who was the reason he was hit over the head with a flowerpot.