Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach or the characters associated with it… :(
"Kuchiki Rukia, as punishment we have decided to strip you of your shinigami powers and exile you from Sereitei" captain Yamamoto's voice echoed over the meeting hall.
Rukia stood still, her eyes glazed over deep in thought, 'this isn't right…isn't this what Ichigo had tried to prevent?' she asked herself 'were all her friends efforts to save her in vain?' Rukia looked around the meeting hall, all the captains were present, but none would make eye contact with her. She glanced at her brother who held an expressionless stare. Slowly she returned her gaze to the first division captain who was still blabbering about upholding the laws of the Soul Society.
"Do you have anything you wish to say?" Yamamoto queried. Rukia straightened and lifted her head defiantly, she was not looking forward to her power being taken, apparently it was not the most enjoyable experience one could undergo but at least she wasn't being executed.
"I accept my punishment" she stated simply, mentally sighing at the whole situation it was just too unbelievable to take seriously. Her mind wandered to a certain orange haired boy and was amused by the fact that he didn't have clue that this was happening. At least he's safe… she thought and then realized that captain Yamamoto was talking again.
"Very well, I will now strip your powers from you" he stated as he approached the small shinigami. Clenching her fists Rukia watched emotionlessly as he unsheathed his Zanpaktou. 'Something is not right…' with a flash of steel and an immense pain Rukia felt her consciousness slowly drift into darkness.
Karakura town was eerily quiet Ichigo noted while walking along an empty street on his way home from school. No people, no wandering spirits, not even a hollow it was just plain creepy. Ever since they had rescued Inoue from Hueco Mundo the hollow activity had died right down. This was making Ichigo incredibly tense and moody. The lack of his favourite little shinigami (although he would never say it to her face) was making him even more depressed. He wished Rukia didn't have to keep running off to the Soul Society but that was a bit selfish of him to want her to spend all her time with him. Even though he would never admit it, he had grown incredibly attached to Rukia and hoped that she would come back soon.
The chilly winter weather wasn't helping his bad mood either. Something icy touched his cheek and he looked up and saw that snow was gently starting to drift down from the sky. It was as if the sky was crying tears of ice. He placed his hand out in front of him and watched as a snowflake delicately landed on his palm. It reminded him of Rukia, cold yet delicate, intricate and beautiful. 'God, since when did I become such a sentimental idiot?!' he scolded himself mentally. If Rukia knew what he was thinking right now he was sure he wouldn't live to see the next day, but Rukia wasn't here so he guessed it was ok. Why couldn't he stop thinking about her? It was like there was something in the back of his mind signalling him to think about her.
It had been a tremendous struggle rescuing Inoue and bringing her back. Ichigo had barely managed to kill that psycho-maniac Grimmjow, but somehow they had all made it back and had not been pursued in the process, which was surprising to say the least. Rukia almost hadn't made it, her reiatsu was nearly undetectable and her wounds were so bad Ichigo almost mistook her for dead the moment he laid eyes on her.
Ichigo felt as if his heart was about to jump out of his chest. He knelt down next to Rukia's battered and bruised body and gently rolled her onto her back.
"Ichigo?" her voice was barely audible but he heard it.
"I'm here Rukia" Ichigo said taking her hand tenderly in his.
"Have you found Inoue?" she asked him quietly.
"I'm here Kuchiki-san, I'm going to heal you now okay?" replied Orihime from behind Ichigo.
"Ah," Rukia smiled weakly up at Ichigo "Now I know that I have somewhere to leave my heart…" and with that her eyes closed as she fell into unconsciousness.
'What had she meant "I have somewhere to leave my heart"?' He hadn't had the chance to ask her since she had immediately returned to the Soul Society. Ichigo was now thoroughly confused. As he pondered over the meaning of her words he failed to notice the figure that had appeared about twenty metres in front of him. It wasn't for another ten metres until Ichigo realised he wasn't alone. He was very much surprised to see Kuchiki Byakuya standing in front of him holding an unconscious Rukia in his arms.
To be continued….
AN: Hehehe, well this is my first fic and I'm not sure if it's that good…. I have a plan on where this story is going but if anyone has any ideas to help it on its way it would be greatly appreciated. Uh, please review if you want me to continue the story. Love MB xo