Yoruichi recoiled. The words were like a slap to the face. But while she could always receive any physical blow with grace and retaliate easily without a thought, those words were much, much more than simply words, they hurt much, much more than simply words… and they came from her best friend's mouth.

In her disbelief and shock, she let go of his lapel, backing away slowly, her pupils shrinking till they were almost invisible. Caught like a hunted prey.



" Is that so?" she hissed, recuperating quickly from the shock, her golden eyes narrowing to slits, completely devoid of the customary mischievousness and playfulness. Her lip curled into a feral snarl as the initial power of the words expanded and gripped her being… engulfing her with bitter hate and resentment.

Urahara held her gaze, steadily, while most would've wilted.

After a moment, the intense glare dissipated as she bowed her head, fervently denying the accusation inside, but the little doubt she had prevented her from denying it out loud. Was she what he claimed she was? Was it simply something he said to unnerve her? Or was it the truth?

" You know it's true."

Yoruichi sank to the floor. Her nails digging into her palm as she squeezed her eyes shut. She'd tried. She'd tried so hard to get away from it all. It was the main reason she had left with him, to escape her life. But how foolish that was, she could never outrun it.

" You know it's true."

Gazing up at him with fierce golden eyes filled with torment. The anguish filled her flawless face, twisting it into a mask of utter despair of one who dwells alone in the darkness. Her eyes glittered with tears.

" I didn't want this!" she cried, bringing her fist down with inhuman speed. The blow she struck upon the floor seemed to shake the world, just like it shook all foundations, shattering the ideal world of dreams and false perfection. One single, pearly tear dripped down her face, gleaming and glittering as it caught the light, shining in all its symbolic, forlorn beauty.

He gazed at her with pity, but bridled his urges.

It was too late now to take back what he had said. Yet, the only reason why it hurt so much was because there was a shred of the truth. And she knew it, as she, the princess, and ruling commander bowed down before him, her whole frame shaking violently as she cried.

" I never wanted this..."