Author's Notes: Its been a while since I updated anything. Sorry about that. Lifes keeps insisting in keeping me away from the fanfic world. My beta reader is unable to keep editing my stories. So it anybody wants to help by correcting my horrible spelling and grammar I really apreciated!
Disclaimer: I'm just playing with someone else toys.
"Pleasant and Not so Pleasant Encounters"
She stood there glued to the ground, not wanting to believe what her eyes showed her. He approached taking his sweet time, successfully making her more nervous. He stopped a couple of steps away from her.
"It has been a while Rukia-chan" Gin said with his usual smile on his face. She didn't say anything, her voice trapped on her throat. "Aren't you going to say hi to me, is quiet rude to not say anything back."
"S-sorry Ichimaru-san" she slurred. Her voice had come low and meek but she couldn't help it. His presence made her feel like snakes where chocking her!
"Please don't call me that Rukia-chan we have been friends for a long time. Besides I have become the new captain of the king's army. You should call me Gin-taichou!" His tall form towering her smaller form, making it look like she couldn't escape him.
She was about to replay when he interrupted her. "I hear that worked with Ukitake-san for the last couple of years trying to develop a cure for the Red Death. I also heard that you failed" he said putting emphasis in the last word.
Failure. That word stabbed her hard. Looking at her down cast eyes he continued with their 'friendly' conversation.
"Seeing all those people die in front of you because you couldn't find a cure most has been hard. Ah but don't worry I'm sure more capable doctors would be able to find a cure. Your place is here Rukia-chan. You can hide in here and not be afraid to the red death. People are still going to die outside these walls but you would be safe."
He couldn't watch her eyes fill with self loathing and disgust but, he still could sense the effect of his words. His smile grew more sinister. It was really going to be fun. His favorite toy was trapped in this castle with no way of escaping.
'We are sure going to have fun Rukia-chan' Gin thought still looking down at the trembling figure of Rukia.
Sensing that someone was watching them Gin looked over his shoulder to find Aizen at the door that lead inside the ball room. Knowing what Aizen wanted Gin started moving away from Rukia. "It was good talking to you" Gin say not turning around as he waved his hand, "Bye-bye Rukia-chan."
"I see you found her" Aizen said starting to walk as soon as Gin stood beside him. "I don't really mind what sick game you are playing with her, just remember she is the key to my plan."
Gin didn't miss the threat that was hidden beneath Aizen calm words. "Sick game? I don't know what you could possibly be talking about" Gin said smiling innocently as her remember Rukia trembling form.
Rukia dragged herself around the castle, yesterday events still playing on her mind. She hugged herself attempting to comfort herself even a little. Rukia knew that Gin had only wanted to get under her skin, and the worst part was that he had succeeded. She didn't want to admit it but every word that came from his mouth had been painfully true.
Wasn't she the one that swore to find a cure to the red death? Then what was she doing here hiding from the outside world, while Ukitake was still searching for the cure.
Drowning herself in more self disgust Rukia didn't notice that she was about to crash with another person. Say person didn't notice her because the huge pile of blankets he was caring. And so they collide.
The white blankets flew every where. Rukia untangle herself from one still not looking up to see who she collided with. "Sorry" she murmured.
"Please don't apologize it was all my- Rukia-sama?!"
"Uh?" Rukia said vaguely remembering that voice. She looked up and found Hanataru looking at her with a broad smile. "Hanataru?" Rukia said.
"I'm so happy, Rukia-sama you still remember me!" Hanataru said with half lidded eyes and soft voice. He was still tangled in a white blanket. "Would you like me to help you?" Rukia asked seeing him got even more tangled in the white pice of cloth. "He he… yes please" Hanataru said embarrass.
The white blankets lay in a neat pile on the ground. Rukia and Hanataru sat beside each other in silence. Hanataru was watching the clouds pass threw one of the big windows that were on the long corridor. Rukia watched him from the corner of her eye.
'Should I ask him?' she thought. Her eyes went down to the stone floor. 'There is no helping it. It won't leave me until I ask him. I really want to know if he hates me.'
Hanataru looked at Rukia, when he hears her give a tire and sad sigh. "Rukia-sama, are you feeling good? You look really tire. Would you like me to bring someone to check on you?" Hanataru said really worried at the painful sight she was.
"Umm… would you answer honestly to a question I have?" Rukia said bringing her legs to close to her. Hanataru got even more worried over the small girl. He nodded not liking where this conversation was going.
Rukia hugged her legs more close to her, "Hanataru do you hate me?" There, she said it. She closed her eyes not wanting to see the painful truth.
"Baka!" he imagine himself screaming at her, but been him he didn't dare to say it out loud. So instead he simply said, "No." Rukia opened her eyes not expecting that answer from the quiet boy. "Why would I hate someone so good like Rukia-sama?"
"I told you to answer honestly!" Rukia said her anger coming fast.
Hanataru raised her hands in front of him. 'Wasn't she sad a moment ago? Rukia-sama really has strange mood swings' he thought looking at the angry but some how broken girl that sat next to him. "B-but Rukia-sama I should I h-hate you?"
She glared at him. The tears that have been lock down were making their way across her pretty face; Rukia didn't seem to notice or simply didn't care to hide them. "I let your mother die! I wasn't good enough to find the cure to save her! And now I'm hiding in this castle, while more people like your mother are dying outside! I'm a failure and a coward! You should hate me because Unohana-san is dead because of me!"
Not giving a damn if anybody saw or hear her she broke on full angered, guilty, and painful tears.
Rukia wasn't sure for how long she cried, she just cried and cried her heart contents. She really did hate been in side this castle walls. She hated not been beside Ukitake and helping him with the research of the cure. She hated to hide while others fought. What she hated the most was the feeling of loneliness that crept on her very soul. She didn't have any family or friends left. Ukitake, Kyone, Sentarou was the only thing she had left; not knowing how they were killing her.
But what she hated the most was the Red Death.
If wasn't for that God forsaken plague, she could still have her brother beside her. She could have still laugh with Renji and the others. She could still be beside Ichigo…
Fresh tears started to form on her eyes. With the back of her hand Rukia wiped them. She really felt tire, and the huge headache that was breaking her skull in two didn't help.
"Here" Hanataru said giving her handkerchief.
"Thanks" Rukia said cleaning her face and placing her noble mask on place, "sorry I shouldn't have acted like that. Please forgive my rude behavior."
'Rukia-sama really has strange mood swings' Hanataru couldn't help to think. They stayed in silence as Rukia continued to clean her face. 'At least it was Hanataru who saw me crying' Rukia thought relieved that it was him and not someone like Ichimaru Gin. She shuddered at the mere thought of him watching her cry.
"Thanks" she said again as she gave back the handkerchief.
"Umm…Rukia-sama a-about your q-question…" Hanatru said a little nervous, been a little scare of the small girl strange mood swings. "I couldn't ever dream of hating Rukia-sama."
"It had never crossed my mind to blame you because the death of my mother. You along with Ukitake-sama, Kyone-sama, and Sentarou-sama gave your best to save her. Monther was really grateful of the effort you all put to save her. To me Rukia-sama is a person I loo up" Hanataru said giving her a bright smile.
Rukia starred at him with wide eyes. "Baka!" she said punching him on the arm. "Rukia-sama?" Hanataru said rubbing his arm, 'she really has strange mood swings' he thought again.
"Thank you for your honest answer Hanataru" Rukia said smiling for the first time since she arrived to Las Noches castle.
Rukia fell a lot better now. She finally noticed something strange, "Hanataru why are you carrying blankets? Also why are you addressing me with sama, you are also a noble you can address me how ever you want."
This time it was Hanataru turn to look down. "I'm carrying blankets to the laundry room and I call you Rukia-sama because that's what servants do."
"You are not a servant, you are a noble" Rukia said with a frown.
"No Rukia-sama not any more," Hanataru said this time with a sad smile. "After mother's death I lost my title of noble because I was adopted."
"But that doesn't make sense! Even if you are adopted you heir the title of noble!" Rukia said, "Who said stripped you from your title?" She could tell there was something strange, it was stupid to strip someone of their title just because they were adopted.
"Aizen-sama" Hanataru said looking down at his hand.
"Aizen-sama? But why?" Rukia couldn't believe him. 'Aizen-sama would never do something like that!'
"He explained that when mother adopted me it wasn't threw a legal process. Than my adoption was never legally register, there for I don't have the right to call myself a noble. But Aizen-sama was kind enough to let me work here as a servant" Hanataru said sounding really grateful.
Rukia didn't like it. Even if Hanataru wasn't a noble anymore been a servant was too much! Hanataru had been raised like a noble and could have been given a better job! Not wanting to keep her thoughts to herself she stood up and smiled down at Hanataru.
"I have an idea! Since you are a servant that was raise as a noble you can be my personal servanta!" Rukia said really pleased with her idea. "I don't really like the personal maids Aizen-sama gave me. I can ask him and I don't think he would say no, since I'm the last member of one of the four noble houses" For the first time she was happy her that her high status of noble gave her the power to ask for things, even if it remind her that her brother gone.
"R-really?" Hanataru asked his voice taking a hopeful air. He didn't mind doing the work of a servant but he was always bullied by the other servants. They were really mean only because he was once a noble.
"Of course! But is kind of late now, I will ask tomorrow" Rukia said for the first time noticing that was late in the afternoon.
"Thank you Rukia-sama!" Hanataru said giving her a deep bow.
"Don't call me Rukia-sama is annoying, just Rukia is fine" she said helping him stand.
"I told you just Rukia is fine" she said happy o find at least one friend in the cold castle of Las Noches.
Asking to have Hanataru as her personal servant was easier than she thought, Aizen agree almost immediately. Rukia was ready to argue with him but was happy that it went smoothly. Now Hanataru was officially her personal servant. Not that she viewed him as a servant, she just glad that he could be beside her.
They were walking around the castle, exploring the huge castle.
"Hanataru do you know were the library is?" Rukia asked. She had decided that even if she couldn't go outside the castle walls, she would continue her research from inside the castle. She wanted to see Las Noches library since it was the country biggest library. 'Maybe I can find some I haven't read.'
"I'm not sure, I haven't been in the castle long enough, but I think is on the other side of the castle" Hanataru said happy to help Rukia in any way.
"Let's got" Rukia said eager to start her research.
A huge smile brook on her face, the library was huge! There were hundredth of bookshelves that almost touched the ceiling; fill with thousandths of books. As her hand touched lightly the back of some books, she could smell the old paper of some of them. She couldn't wait to start her research.
"It looks like a maze" Rukia said trying to find a place were she could sit and start reading. "Wait Rukia-san!" Hanataru said trying not to get lost in the huge library.
She kept walking and walking not finding what she was looking for. 'Where are the desks?' Rukia thought a little frustrated, 'and where is Hanataru?' She walked between some bookshelves and saw some windows.
Walking a little faster she made her way towards the big windows. They gave a view toward the forest. She rested her hands against the cool glass. Rukia turned her head to the left and saw small round tables with enough space for two. 'Finally I found them. Now I need to find Hanataru.'
She turned her head to the right, locking eyes with cold green ones.
Her gaze turned into a glare. She had forgotten everything about the green eye bastard because of Gin words but, now she remembered how angry she was at him.
"What are you doing here?" Rukia asked between clenched teeth.
"I didn't know nobles could actually enjoy reading, since it has nothing to do with spending money" he said with a blank face.
"Don't compare me with them" Rukia said really angry, "I told you already you know nothing about me! You are not even reading you should be out getting out."
"Not are you" he said not moving his eyes away from her piercing stare.
'Smart ass' she thought looking away and crossing her arms in front of her "hn." She then saw chess game in one of the tables, an idea already forming in her head. She gave him a smirk and said, "tell you what, if you can win against me in chest I will apologize for acting so rude and I will go but if I win you will apologize and will leave."
"No" he said.
"Afraid you can't win against a noble like me?" Rukia said moving toward the table with the chest pieces.
"No, but I playing with you chest will be a waste of time, do you even know the rules?" he said successfully making her loss her cool. "Why you, bastard" she murmured under her breath, her hand forming a fist, 'calm down, clam down.'
"One game" Rukia said glaring at him.
He stared at her searching her eyes.
"So we have a deal?" Rukia said stretching her hand. He nodded in agreement andshok her hand. 'His hand is really cold' Rukia thought as she took her place on the table.
"I thought you would choose the black ones" Rukia said as she watched him pick the white ones. "You don't know me" he quoted her with a hint of a smirk on his pale face.
She glared more at him but didn't say anything.
'You are going down!' Rukia thought smiling as she placed her black pieces in order. She was really sure she could win. Back when everybody was alive and she wasn't lonely she used to play chest with all her friends, especially with Kaien. He taught her everything about chest.
"Your turn" a cold baritone voice broke her from her thoughts. 'Now is not the time to think about the past' and with that she made her first move.
"Rukia-san!" Hanataru said happy to have finally found her. She didn't say anything as she kept studying the chest board. Hanataru then watched the pale man that sat across from her also studying the chest board.
'He looks familiar' Hanataru thought trying to remember him.
"Again?" Rukia said not wanting to believe it, "this is the sixth game we play and we tie again!"
"Another one" the green eye man said with small frown.
They both started re-arranging the pieces ignoring the meek boy that stood beside them.
Hanataru watched amazed at how good they played chest. Each movement was well calculated and was made with the intention of winning.
Three games later…
Rukia glared at the white and black pieces, 'this is the eighth tie.' She looked up at the pale man finding him glaring at the chest pieces. A small snore came from her right and she was surprised to find Hanataru sleeping against the arm of her chair. "What time it is?" she asked the pale man.
"Is already pass nine" he said looking at an old grandfather clock that was against the wall behind her.
"Really?" Rukia said surprised at the time, 'I'm kind of hungry.' They have been playing for six hours straight. "I think I should go" she said turning on her chair to wake up Hanataru.
"He is Hanataru" Rukia said when she found the pale man staring at the still sleeping boy. She then realized something, "I don't know your name."
"Ulquiorra" the pale man said looking directly at her eyes.
"Ulquiorra" she said testing the name on her mouth, "I'm Rukia."
Ulquiorra didn't say anything, he just nodded.
Rukia was surprised since it was the first time they talked with out insulting each other, 'so he is not a complete jerk.' The old grandfather clock marked ten. "I really should be going."
Ulquiorra raised an eyebrow when she didn't get up to leave, "aren't you going?"
She didn't meet his piercing green eyes. "I don't know where the exit is" Rukia murmured feeling really stupid. She looked up to find him openly smirking at her, "you don't?"
She threw him a chest piece, and turned her face away not wanting to let him see her red cheeks.
Ulquiorra glared at her, not trace of the smirk on his cold face, "you are really annoying."
Author's Notes: It feels good to review! And I know you feel good if you leave a review!