Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach or any Bleach affiliates.
(A/N: I hope everyone likes this story—Its the first crime/Bleach fic I've written! Please don't forget to review. Also, it's the first time I've placed a story of I've heard the term 'Lieutenant' shortened to Lou so that's what that means, if anyone knows the correct abbreviation please tell me.)
Murder My Heart
Detective Rukia Kuchiki placed her hand on the gear shift of her sleek black car and pushed it into park. She allowed her hand to rest on the hard plastic object for only a moment longer before removing it and placing it on the steering wheel. Her steely eyes stared at the undulating wipers as they beat back and forth, dispelling the water that was pounding down on the windshield of her car. Her fingers tightened on the leather coated wheel as she tried to get them to stop shaking. She stared menacingly at the non-responsive digits and wiggled them furiously so they started shaking out of pain and not out of nervous fear.
Turning her immobile neck towards the window, Rukia tried to see the streets outside her steaming windows. It was dark—only about two in the morning actually—and the streets were covering in a tsunami-like downpour. She could just imagine the filthy streets running with rivers of trash and, in tonight's case, blood. She blinked her bloodshot eyes and pictured scraggly rats and damp cats as they roamed the cracked cement sidewalks and scavenging inside of wayward dumpsters as they tried to avoid the rain.
She swallowed thickly and placed a hand on her chest. This was just going to be a routine stop. Nothing was wrong with this. She just needed to get in, ID the headless corpse of her murdered brother, and leave. She wasn't supposed to get involved. She had strict orders to leave this to the three one. Leave it to the 31st Precinct… don't get involved.
"Bullshit." Rukia snarled as she turned off the ignition and placed her hand on the door handle. It took one more deep breath before she was able to move again, but she was ready now. Rukia flung open the door and placed her legs on the solid earth beneath her shoes. The moment she stood she was blasted by a freezing gust of wind. She shivered violently, a combination of death, rain, and the realization that it was indeed the first of February. The heavy droplets of icy rain fell onto her head and instantly soaked every one of her inky black locks. She quickly tucked her unruly hair behind her ears and scowled as the one piece that limped between her eyes became plastered to her nose.
Blinking water out of her eyes and wondering how long it would take for it to solidify into ice, Detective Kuchiki staggered forward and found with certainty that yes, her legs did indeed feel like gelatin. She headed towards the flashing blue, red, and white lights near the end of the street. As she neared the yellow tape she numbly realized that she needed to fish her badge out of her pocket. Grumbling at the damn pocket of her trench coat—which was about as warm as a wet blanket—she cursed some more and finally dug it out.
The street cop near the front of the crime scene moved to stop her rather direct path but she flashed him her ID and barked, "Detective Rukia Kuchiki, from the two eight. Let me through." She didn't say please and didn't even bother to swerve around him as she pummeled underneath the crime scene tape and continued.
She took a quick glance around and immediately knew that there should have been more people.
Her brother deserved better than this.
She could feel herself choking slightly as she continued. Oh God, there was the white sheet. Rukia could feel the bile rising in her throat as she noticed a pale hand—slightly smeared with blood—peeking from underneath the rain soaked sheet. That sheet was already plastered to his body, outlining each crease and crinkle in the expensive Italian suit he always wore. Rukia placed a hand over her mouth and blinked away the hot, burning sensation in her eyes.
"Oh God." She muttered as she took a few more tentative steps forward. Someone was looking over his body, raising the sheet to check the stabbing marks on his chest and the slash mark across his throat.
Rukia wondered when she was going to vomit.
She recognized the man who was examining her brother's dead body. His name was Hanataro Yamada, he was a nervous looking man with drooping eyes and coal black hair that fell into his face and covered most of his nervous grimace. He had his hood pulled over his head so as not to get wet and was poking at Byakuya's body with a pencil. Rukia instantly wanted to kill him.
Instead she charged over to his crouched form and grasped the neck of his jacket. He gave a startled yelp as she tugged his face to his. His eyes filled with fear and hers became alive with rage as she stared him down, he whimpered and she snarled, "Just what do you think you're doing?"
He winched at her as if he was afraid she would rip his nose off with her teeth, "I'm e-examining the body, w-who are y-you?"
"I'm his sister," she growled hotly, "And if you don't mind, I'd like you to stop prodding my brother's corpse with a pencil."
"I-It's a pen." He squeaked before raising his hand to his eyes and shielding, his voice was almost lost to the rain.
"I don't care!" She roared as she released his collar and threw him to the ground—away from her brother.
No one around them even heard the argument, the rain was coming down harder than ever and almost everything was lost in the thrashing sound of the downpour. Rukia was left unperturbed as people bustled around the crime scene—attempting to find any shreds of evidence that weren't already whisked away by the rain. In the liquid pounding occurring all around Rukia found herself alone with the corpse of her brother.
Before she knew what was happening her knees had given way and her fists were clenching the soaked sheet. Everything she had ever learned in the police academy was screaming at her not to touch his body or disturb any of the evidence that might be useful in finding his killer, but… she didn't care. Her hands were swathed in the blood soaked cloth that covered his body. She knew that he hadn't been here long, maybe a couple of hours; his body was still fresh and even bleeding slightly. Her hands pressed against his chest—it was stiff now, having freshly gone into rigor. She could feel the muscles that were once so hard rest against his bones, limp with stillness. She felt a shudder run through her body as her hands became tainted with the red stickiness of his blood. The blood that had once been pumping through his active and alive veins. Rukia took in a shuddering gasp and slowly removed her hands from his body. She had to distance herself; she had to preserve some semblance of his dignity. He wouldn't want her sobbing over his prostrate body.
Even if his body had been stabbed seventeen times and nearly decapitated.
Rukia raised her heavy head, already sopping with water and perhaps a couple of tears, and blinked at the young man coming towards her. He was wearing a policeman's jacket and had a detective's badge clipped to a small chain around his front. Rukia glared at him softly but allowed him to come closer. She told herself she didn't look weird. She was just kneeling beside the body of her dead brother, but he didn't know that, hell, she could even pass for that spineless medical examiner.
"What are you doing with the body?" He cried over the roar of the rain. His figure was distorted in the heavy precipitation but Rukia could tell that he was tall, lightly built, and strong. She could also tell that he was angry. Very angry apparently, well, if the sight of his furrowed brow and furious glare was any indication.
"Examining it," she answered defiantly, even though her voice was shaking slightly. Rukia swallowed and took a deep breath, after a moment she transformed her voice into the iron clad powerhouse she used in the interrogation room. She had used this voice hundreds of times in order to get suspects to confess. She saw the man coming closer and she braced her hands on the wet asphalt beneath her, her plan was to rise and meet him head on, but it didn't seem like her legs wanted to work anymore. So instead of fighting it she simply sat on the wet ground, the dirty rain soaking her jeans and sticking through to her skin.
He approached and glared furiously from her to her dead brother. "Where's Hanataro? And why are you disturbing the body?" He demanded as he motioned to her.
Rukia sat on the ground and didn't move as she glared at him with steely eyes. "Hanataro is over in that corner weeping like a frightened child," she ground out. As she said the words she could feel something like strength returning to her legs. With difficulty, she pressed her hands onto the jagged ground and pushed herself up. Her soaked jeans weighted her body heavily and she had to keep one of her thumbs hooked inside the belt loop just to keep them up. Nonetheless she straightened her spine and raised her head to deliver a stare of hostility to the detective before her.
He was taller than she had first thought, definitely taller than her—but that was easy to accomplish since she was probably the shortest person on the entire police force—but he still outranked her by at least a head. He also had fiery orange hair and bright amber eyes, both of which were streaming with rainwater. Rukia also noticed that his face wore a livid frown she surmised could intimidate any of the nastiest perps she had ever known—either that or make someone very angry. Just his glare right now was making her spine tingle and her blood boil.
She finished her appraisal of him and noted with satisfaction that he was also making a scrutiny of her. She wondered if he liked what he saw—but more importantly, she needed to make sure that he feared it.
After a moment of angry silence—which couldn't actually be considered silence due to the harsh rain, shouting officers, and ringing sirens—the detective in front of Rukia crossed his arms and said in a voice barely audible above the deafening shower. "That still doesn't explain why you were disturbing the body."
"Your powers of observation astound me, Detective." Rukia snarled sarcastically.
"Kurosaki," the man said with equal disdain, "Detective Kurosaki, in case you were wondering."
"I wasn't." She snapped, she raised her arms and crossed them underneath her small breasts.
"Alright then," Detective Kurosaki growled, "Why were you disturbing the body… Miss…"
Rukia didn't give him her name, instead she fished her badge out of her pocket and flashed the shining emblem in his face and glowered, "Detective, to you as well, and I was disturbing the body because I…" Good God, her throat couldn't be closing up now, "I can identify the b-body."
Detective Kurosaki didn't miss the shudder in her voice, even in the splashing rain and occasional booming thunder. Instead he glanced from her to the body and then back. He couldn't see her eyes in the dark night so he dug into his pocket and pulled out a small flashlight. Rukia saw the small motion and instantly stared him in the eye—if he wanted to flash that light and see how perturbed she was, well fine. She wouldn't object.
The detective, instead of shining the light in her face, left his spot in front of her and knelt down beside the corpse. He flipped back the soaked sheet and pointed the light directly into Byakuya Kuchiki's face.
Rukia's hand immediately flew to her mouth where she could feel the bile and vomit rising. With the light in his face her brother looked so pale. His hair was drenched and wild and plastered either to his face or the ground beneath his body. His eyes were twin hollow holes of darkness—they were so lifeless and inert. His mouth was open slightly; his lips were chapped and bloodless—even when covered with filthy rainwater. Rukia had the sudden urge to reach forward and close his mouth. She did not want dirty rainwater from the streets of some slum to be flowing into the mouth of her brother. It would go down his esophagus until it was filling his lungs until he couldn't even breathe. It would continue until he was deader than he had ever been before.
Rukia watched in horror as the Detective shined the light on Byakuya's throat. It was at that moment she knew the contents of her stomach would soon make a reappearance. The rain that was supposed to be flowing down his throat and into his motionless lungs was squelching out the open slit in his throat, causing blood and pieces of flesh to flow down the sides of his neck.
The Detective gave him the once over and wrinkled his nose. Rukia saw the gesture and immediately felt her stomach heave. Hurriedly, she turned away and dashed from her brother's dead body. She was underneath the crime scene tape and down another alley before Detective Kurosaki even noticed she was gone. She heard his shout from a distance but couldn't hear anything more as her ears abruptly stopped working and her stomach pushed her meager dinner back up her throat—her working throat that did not possess any slash marks—and out of her mouth before she could stop it. Her vomit hit the soaked ground with a sickening splash.
Gasping, she pressed one hand against the wall of a decrepit building and the other across her stomach. Her body was shuddering now, she felt cold and clammy—and she knew it wasn't just the rain still beating on her drowned body. Deftly she checked her pulse with the tips of her fingers then felt her limbs to make sure they were moving properly. She was okay… she was okay… she was okay….
Her stomach gave another powerful heave but this time there was nothing to push out. She was empty inside. Everything was hollow.
Just like the eyes of her brother.
Good God, not that Detective again, hadn't he caused enough pain for one night? Couldn't he see what that corpse was doing to her? Couldn't he—and why for the love of fucking Christ was he holding a gun at her?
Instantly, Rukia's hand reached for her holster but his voice stopped her, "Hold it right there!" He called loudly. Rukia snorted, she could already tell that he liked to watch Westerns. "Take your hand away from the weapon." He ordered and she calmly complied, but instead of holding up her hands she crossed them.
"Show me your badge again, and this time I want ID." He demanded, coming closer to her, his eyebrows forged into the frown of steel. "But reach into your pocket slowly."
Rukia sighed, still trying to shake off the feeling of death. Oddly enough, the gun pointed at her was helping. "If you can see a gun in my holster why would you think I had another one in my pocket?"
"Not the point," he countered immediately. "Do it."
Rukia reached inside of her pocket and found her badge, quickly followed up with her ID. She walked up to him and tossed them at his chest. Deftly he grabbed both and stared at each.
"Detective Rukia Kuchiki, of the two eight." He looked up and gave her a steely glare. "What the hell are you doing in the three one?"
Rukia's eyes narrowed into slits of lethal insidiousness. "I already told you." Her brother's face flashed through her mind again and she felt her stomach muscles clench. "I came to i-identify the body."
"Well," Detective Kurosaki said, "Who the hell is it?"
Rukia blinked at him for a moment before closing her eyes. The only problem with that was that each time she closed her eyes she saw her brother… dead, throat slit, body cut up in angry rage.
She dove to the side of the wall and dry heaved once more, the detective lunged at her initially, but when he saw what she was doing his stance softened slightly and he inched slightly towards her. His frown turned from one of anger to one of wariness. "Detective… Kuchiki?" He asked, as if he was tasting the name on his tongue.
Rukia leaned against the wall and once again looked at her fingers—they were shaking but they weren't blue. Or maybe they were, she couldn't tell, she was too wet and too cold and too horrified. She placed a hand on her forehead and ran her fingers through her sopping hair, plastering it to the back of her head and causing water to stream down her neck.
A few moments later she felt a hand on her shoulder—not rough but not gentle either. "Detective Kuchiki?" His voice was quieter now, he was still shouting over the rain but it was not angry, only… irritated.
Rukia shook her head and swallowed the horrid taste in her mouth. Just don't blink, she told herself. Don't blink and you won't see Byakuya. She needed to tell him. She needed to tell him that it was her brother.
Detective Kurosaki moved only a bit closer to her, he was now able to talk to her without yelling. "Do you know who it is?"
Rukia nodded. The detective shot her an irritated glance but she didn't care. She was staring at a molded brick wall. She opened her mouth…
She snapped her head up and opened her eyes wide. Oh God, what the hell was he doing here? She wasn't even supposed to be here, at this crime scene, in this grubby place, staring at her brother's dead body.
A flash of lightning exploded in the dark sky and Rukia saw her partner outlined in the sudden light. His red hair was still amazingly sticking up in the downpour around them. In the darkness his tattoos wrapped like snakes around his face. She saw his leather jacket coming towards them and watched as he dug his hand into his pocket and pulled out his detective's badge. He showed it to Detective Kurosaki and immediately shoved him out of he way. The detective stumbled into the alley and grunted as the man before him placed both hands on the shoulders of the woman, speaking in earnest whispers.
"The Lou told you not to…" he said harshly before his voice drained into the rain.
"I had to… needed to… didn't believe…."
The woman hung her head. The man holding with his hands on her shoulders closed his eyes and squeezed lightly. He shook his head and Detective Kurosaki saw him swallow convulsively.
Not one to be ignored, Detective Kurosaki holstered his gun and strode towards the two other detectives. "What the hell is going on?" He had to shout to be heard over the rain.
The man with the red hair raised his tattooed head and frowned over at Detective Kurosaki. He looked from the woman before him and the orange-haired man to his side. Deftly, he pointed at himself and yelled over the noise, "I'm Detective Abarai from the two eight, this is Detective Kuchiki from—"
"From the two eight," he yelled in response, "I know, what the hell are you two doing here? This isn't your turf."
The man's face contorted into a scowl, made even more menacing by his tattoos. "We know." He looked towards the woman and grimaced, "My partner was here to see the body."
"So visit the morgue in the morning!" Detective Kurosaki yelled, tossing her badge and identification back to her. "Besides, we still haven't made a positive ID on the vic." He glared at the female detective. "And if she won't tell me anything you might as well get the hell out of here." He jerked his thumb towards the street and scowled hard at them.
Detective Kuchiki's head snapped up and she stared wide-eyed at Detective Kurosaki. Lightning flashed in the distance and for the first time Detective Kurosaki saw her inky and hurt-filled eyes reflected in the instantaneous light. He was astounded by the expression shown inside those black depths.
"How dare you!" She screamed, her voice rising to alarming heights over the rage of the storm, she rushed towards him and planted her feet not two inches from his body, "He was my brother you jackass! Byakuya Kuchiki! My brother! My brother was murdered and you're worried about a turf war?"
She raised her hand and started to swing towards his face, Detective Kurosaki raised his own arm to defend himself from the angered attack.
It never came. Her hand stopped only centimeters from his face, her fingers shaking in rage and pain.
"Rukia," Detective Abarai cried as he rushed to her side, "Don't. You could get in trouble with IAB."
Shivering or shaking—Rukia didn't know which one she was doing. All she knew was that she was colder than she had ever been in her life and it was scaring her. Soon she would be on the road next to her brother—dead, just like him.
She took a step away from Detective Kurosaki and glared at him. "How dare you… you bastard." The burning sensation was back, she could feel it swallowing her eyes and making tears stream down her face. The salty droplets muddled with the rain falling from the sky. She choked and swallowed hard, "I-It was his b-birthday." She blinked and felt the tears begin to burn behind her eyes, but she wouldn't cry or put her face in her hands… never. She wouldn't show that weakness.
She felt a soft hand on her shoulder, with little hesitation she followed her partner's guiding hand as he led her to her car. He muttered something about taking a taxi here and told her that he'd drive her back to her apartment.
As she walked around to the passenger side of the vehicle she looked back over to the Detective she had just met. He was staring at her, following her with eyes she couldn't see—she wasn't even sure she wanted to see.
The last thought she had before getting inside of the car and out of the freezing rain was that the heavens were weeping in abject misery for her dead brother.