We Must an Anguish Pay


Summary: Kuchiki Byakuya knew three things. The clan would demand compensation, it would be deemed fair, and he wouldn't like it.

For each ecstatic instant
We must an anguish pay
In keen and quivering ratio
To the ecstasy.

For each beloved hour
Sharp pittances of years,
Bitter contested farthings
And coffers heaped with tears.

-- Emily Dickinson

Kuchiki Byakuya bowed deeply before sitting seiza in front of the graying honorable twenty-seventh head of the Kuchiki clan.

"I have come to a decision regarding your requests, Byakuya." He said slowly.

"Yes, Sofu."

"It has been decided that, if you should find her, Hisana-san's sister will be taken in."

"Thank You, Sofu."

"However," The twenty-seventh head added before Byakuya could stand, "as suggested by Kuchiki Chiji-san and others, Hisana-san's ashes will not be buried under the Kuchiki name. Her ashes will be buried instead at the Kin'iro Branch Cemetery."

Byakuya almost gaped. He had known that Chiji and some of the others had been against Hisana and his marriage, but he had never thought they would stoop so low after their attempt to sabotage the wedding had failed. Sofu had taken his side then, ashamed at Chiji's behavior, though he had remained neutral otherwise

"But, Sofu, why?" Byakuya asked, his hands clenched at his sides.

"Because I am the will of the clan, child, not the other way around, you should know this already. Chiji-san was able to gather enough support for himself. There was little I could do, be glad she's being buried on the compound at all. Do not forget your place Byakuya."

"My deepest apologies, Sofu." Byakuya said before bowing and leaving.

Byakuya stood now in front of Hisana's grave marker. He was silent as he watched the incense burn down. He set a vase holding a small, slim sakura branch in front of the stone. He was about to leave when he heard footsteps on the path.

"Byakuya-sama, it was for the good of the clan."

Byakuya turned his head to see Chiji standing obstinately behind him. He repressed a surge of anger.

"She tainted the clan in her life, and I could not allow her to do so in her death."

Byakuya turned and stared at the brash man emotionlessly. "Why are you here, Mittomonai Chiji?"

"That was uncharacteristic of you, Byakuya-sama. Have I really done you that much harm?" Chiji seemed taken aback, he was startled that the Kuchiki Byakuya would stoop to what was virtually name calling.

"That was not an answer, Mittomonai."

"I thought you should know my reasons."

"Did you think that I would change my opinion of you?" Byakuya stepped forward.

"No, I-"

"You married into the Kuchiki branch family. You have no place in the main family affairs. And yet you interfere, you saw the similarities between Hisana and yourself, the only difference being that you were from a minor noble family." Byakuya took another step.

Chiji made no answer except to start backing away.

"You were jealous of her. You started out higher in station than her and yet ended up lower. You took your anger at your position out on her in any way you could."

Chiji glared but made no denial.

"But everything in life is balanced. Good with Evil. Joy with Sorrow. Triumph with Defeat. Sofu is very old now and I will soon become the Head of the family. If I were you, Mittomonai, I would be very concerned for my position when that happens." With that Byakuya turned back to the grave and offered up a prayer as Chiji left silently.

His joy with Hisana had been so great, he prayed that he would be able to withstand his coming sorrow.


Seiza: Japanese way of sitting with the legs folded underneath the body. Traditional and uncomfortable if one is not used to it, I believe.

Sofu: Grandfather, respectful. I am, by no means, an expert in Japanese. Please tell me if I'm wrong.

Twenty-seventh Head: So far as I can recall Byakuya is the twenty-eighth head of the Kuchiki, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Mittomonai Chiji: Mittomonai meaning disreputable or shameful while Chiji means governor.

Kin'iro: golden