Chapter Sixteen~ Daughter with Two Fathers
"He wasn't told until after Sora was born"
Sora waved goodbye to her friends while clutching her stomach. When she was certain she was alone she ran out of the school building and out through the front gate.
'He even offered to pay me and send Sora away to be raised by a relative. He said that she would be raised like the princess she is but he could never recognize her as his own because he was the Kuchiki clan's leader and he needed to set an example.
She ran as fast as she could down the street to the neighborhood park. Behind the jungle gym was a large oak tree and bushes where she hid her bicycle. She unlocked her bright pink bicycle and rode it to the bus stop.
'That sounds like my brother. Do you know which relative my brother was talking about?'
'No he didn't specify. He just said she would be in excellent care and that this couple would love her as their own and not to mention they were Kuchiki's and very rich.'
She saw the bus approach the bus stop and pedal faster towards it.
'I have to know Kuchiki-san, should I be worried about this? About you knowing the truth about my Sora?'
The last passenger got off the bus and Sora quickly stopped the doors from closing with her arm. The driver gave her nod and got off to help her put her bike on the rack in front of the bus.
'No, you have nothing to worry about, although my brother and sister raised me I know he wouldn't make a good father. She is better off with you and Ichigo. He makes an amazing father doesn't he?'
She paid the bus fair and sat in the front seat. She would have to wait at least half an hour before they arrived at her stop.
Today, Kurosaki Sora was going to meet Kuchiki Byakuya.
In her heart, Ichigo was her father. That still didn't stop her curiosity of knowing her biological father. Despite what she overheard, she started to imagine a life with Byakuya. He would see her for the first time since she was a baby and immediately lavish her with love, attention and gifts. He would go to her recitals, give her a big bouquet of flowers, and tell her how she was the best ballerina in the world.
On the other hand, he could reject her.
She shuddered at the thought of being turned away. Everyone liked her, well except Ishida, but Ishida hated everyone.
She saw her bus stop and told the bus driver. She still had a few miles to go but she was too nervous to think about how exhausting the ride would be.
She knew where the Kuchiki Mansion was. She had seen it once on her way to her grandfather's house. When she first past by it she was captivated by how enormous and beautiful it was. It wasn't until after she met Rukia did she know that it belonged to the famous Kuchiki family.
She suddenly remember that in order to get to the mansion she would have to past by her grandfather's house. She didn't know any other way to get there so she took the risk.
Kurosaki Isshin's house was modest compared to the Kuchiki's. His job as prominent pediatric doctor at Seiretei's best hospital allowed him to buy a large family home in a rich neighborhood. Sora drew in a big breath and pedal fast by Isshin's house.
She didn't see her grandfather or her aunts but she wasn't in the clear yet. She would have to get off the street quick in case one of them drove by. She made a sharp right and she saw it, her final obstacle at the end of the street.
The giant gate that enclosed the mansion.
She rode up to the intercom and cleared her voice before pressing the call button.
"May I help you?" an elderly voice cracked through the intercom.
She took in another breath. She needed to be strong and convincing. "Um yes, I'm here to see Kuchiki Byakuya."
"And you are?" the voice asked.
"I am Kurosaki Sora. I'm here on behalf of Seiretei Preparatory's Student Council!"
Seiretei Preparatory was Ichigo, Rukia and Byakuya's secondary school.
"Did you have an appointment with Kuchiki-sama?" the voice sounded suspicious.
However, Sora always had a plan.
"Yes, I spoke to his assistant, Yamada Hanataro two weeks ago. It's about the upcoming class reunion!"
"Please wait a moment."
Sora nervously waited. She didn't look like a high school girl. She was too young, short and wearing a primary school uniform. But she had an explanation for that in case she was asked. Suddenly the large black gate opened. She waited a moment for a confirmation from the intercom but it was silent. She went ahead inside the gate with her bicycle. The driveway was long and she studied the landscape around her. Manicured lawn, flowers blooming alongside the driveway. She searched for the tree house Rukia mentioned in their first meeting but didn't see one. It was probably in the back somewhere.
She parked her bike alongside the front steps and headed up to the front door. Before she could ring the doorbell a tall thin man with a thin mustache opened the large door.
"Kuchiki-sama is on a conference call," he said while eyeing her up and down, "and cannot be disturbed at the moment."
He tried blocking the entrance but Sora saw an opening and pushed passed him. "I can wait," she said.
The man gave her an irritated look. "It will be a long wait."
"I said I can wait," she said firmly. Her large gray eyes told him that she would not be leaving anytime soon.
The man turned on his heels and walked out of the room. Sora looked around her taking in the experience. The room led to several different doorways. She felt her heart beat faster, in one of those rooms was her biological father. The man reappeared and motioned for Sora to follow him.
"Kuchiki-sama is willing to see you now," he told her. Sora nodded and followed him to the left down a hallway. Each step felt heavier and she was breathing a lot faster now.
This was it.
The man opened a door and motioned for Sora to go in. She nodded and mumbled her thanks and stepped into the room.
It was beautiful.
Bookshelves lined up every single wall. There were small tables covered in large hard covered books. Shelves lined up with their genres listed at the top. It reminded her of Rukia's bookstore and she understood why Rukia loved books so much.
She had her own private library growing up.
A tall man in black suit, long black hair and a flowing white scarf stepped out from behind a bookcase. His dark sapphire eyes studied Sora.
"I know for a fact that you are not in Seiretei Preparatory."
Sora's jaw dropped.
Her father, Kuchiki Byakuya, just spoke to her.
"Also, my reunion was two years ago. If you are going to lie to my butler you should do much better than that."
Sora didn't know what to say. She thought about how to escape from school, find her way to the mansion and lie to the butler but she didn't think about what she would say to her father.
Byakuya stepped closer to her, his dark eyes staring down at her. "Do you plan on staying mute?" he asked.
Somewhere, deep inside her tiny nine-year-old body, she found the courage to speak.
"I'm Kurosaki Sora," she spoke confidently, "and I just wanted to give you this."
She reached inside her school sweater and pulled out a bright pink envelope. The envelope was decorated with butterfly and Chappy stickers. It said Kuchiki Byakuya on the front of it and the I's were decorated with hearts.
She held out the envelope and Byakuya slowly took it from her.
"It's an invitation to my ballet recital on January 30th," she told him as he opened up the envelope. He saw the decorated invitation with the information for the recital and two tickets.
"Why would I attend a children's recital?" he asked curtly.
She wasn't expecting that. She was hoping for something along the lines of 'OF COURSE I'LL GO TO YOUR RECITAL MY DARLING!'
More along the lines of what her grandfather would say.
"I-I" Sora stammered. She took a deep breath and regained her confidence. "I'm the best ballerina at my dance school right now and when I older I'm going to Paris and study ballet so until then I'm practicing really hard."
Byakuya raised an eyebrow. "That does not answer my question."
Then it hit her. She introduced herself as Kurosaki Sora. He probably didn't know that she was his long lost daughter who was adopted by his former brother-in-law.
"I know who you are…"she said quietly. "I'm hoping you would know who I was by just looking at me. I'm Inoue Orihime's daughter. I'm your daughter too."
He remained silent. Sora took that as opportunity to continue, "My mom was dating a guy named Renji when she met you. You only met me once but my mom told you to leave. After that, she married Kurosaki Ichigo and he adopted me. He used to be married to your littlest sister Rukia. I know Rukia and she's really nice and she said she was coming to my recital and I thought that since you were my real dad that it would be nice to invite you too."
Sora held her breath, afraid of his response. Would he accept her or turn her away?
"Is that it?" he asked her.
"Is this," he held up the invitation, "the only reason you came here for?"
"My dad is my dad but…I still want to know you…I was hoping you could see how good I am at ballet."
Byakuya placed the invitation on the table. "What do you want from me? Is it my money?"
Sora slowly shook her head. "No, my daddy is a doctor so we have enough…I just wanted to know who you were. I'm not like my mom. I look a lot like her but I'm not like her. I'm really different and I thought maybe it was because of you."
Byakuya walked away from her towards the end of the library. Sora followed him and watched him pull out a heavy leather bound book.
"No," he said as he started flipping through the pages, "Your personality is because of the way your parents raised you. I had nothing to do with it"
Sora nodded her head in agreement. It made sense- sort of. "I'm still your daughter."
Byakuya looked up from his book. Sora tried her best to read his face but couldn't see a single ounce of emotion on it.
"That has yet to be determined," he said quietly.
He practically whispered it but it knocked the wind out of her. "What?" she asked confused.
Byakuya walked around Sora and back towards the front of the room. Sora neglected to follow him and just stood there speechless.
He noticed that she wasn't following him and he turned around. "You overheard a conversation and given your age you probably misheard," he explained. "If I were your father, you would have grown up with the Kuchiki name. You also wouldn't be studying ballet. You would be studying the required classes needed to attend Seiretei University. Friendships, social activities and unsuitable hobbies would not be tolerated."
That entire speech went straight through Sora's cute little head. All she heard was "I'm not your father."
"So you're saying you're not my real dad?" she asked softly.
"I am not."
There was a large distance between them and Sora decided to close it by walking up to Byakuya. Her gray eyes glared at the tall men.
"I think you're lying," she told him angrily.
Byakuya narrowed his eyes, "Explain."
Sora scoffed and folded her arms. "Che, you don't seem like the kind of guy who would let a nine year old walk into his big fancy house just because. I know what I heard. My mom said you were trying to send me away but she told you to leave. That means you knew I existed but you were never around and I want to know why!"
"DUH!" she proclaimed.
She impatiently waited for Byakuya to say something. Instead, he sat down on the nearest chair and stared at her making Sora uncomfortable.
She felt her face burn up, "I just wanted to know you but my daddy was right. You're a jackass!" she screamed.
"I will not tolerate such behavior," he responded calmly infuriating Sora even more.
"THAN ADMIT IT!"
Byakuya stood up and opened the door. "I will not argue with a child. You will leave immediately," he ordered.
"BUT I'M YOUR CHILD!"
Sora's anger slowly left and she felt an overwhelming feeling of pain in her chest. She bit her lip and felt her hot tears brimming in her eyes. "This isn't over Kuchiki Byakuya. One day you're going to look back at this moment and wish you hadn't kicked me out!"
Then the illegitimate daughter of The Great Kuchiki Byakuya ran out of the room.
She didn't cry. She told herself that she wasn't going to let anyone see her cry. She didn't want to attract attention from strangers or give Byakuya the satisfaction of hurting her. She already felt humiliated, stupid, angry and depressed. She didn't need him knowing it.
She knew the truth and she knew he was lying. Not just because her mother admitted the truth to Rukia but because she felt inside her. She was a Kuchiki.
She finally arrived home and saw her father's car in the driveway. It was strange because recently he wasn't usually home until her bedtime. She quietly put her bike away and walked into the house. Walking up the stairs, she was startled when she heard Ichigo call her from his study.
Sora popped her head through the doorway, "Yea?"
"Come in here." Ichigo pointed towards the seat across from his desk. Sora sat on the chair and watched her father cross his arms.
"So," he started with a frown, "what was so important that you didn't attend all your afternoon classes?"
She forgot that her school would call her parents for missing classes. This explained why Ichigo was home so early. He probably received a call at the clinic.
Sora faked being calm and quickly came up with a lie.
"I fell asleep in the library."
She couldn't tell him that she went to see Byakuya. Her parents kept it a secret from her for obvious reasons-reasons she didn't really understand.
Ichigo raised his eyebrows. "You what?"
Sora replied with a shrug, "I forgot to do my science homework so I went to the library and I fell asleep. When I woke up, classes were over."
"You didn't finish your homework?" he repeated.
"Sora," Ichigo let out a heavy sigh. He was obviously disappointed in her. "I know you're excited for the recital next month but if you start slipping in your grades I'm pulling you out of ballet."
Sora stood up so fast that her chair fell backwards. "NO!" she screamed. He couldn't do that! It felt like he was ripping her heart from her chest.
"Yes!" he was annoyed now, "Now go to your room, finish your homework and then get ready for dinner."
She knew she was over reacting but today was not the day for making threats. First, her biological father turned her away and now her adoptive father was getting ready to pull her out of ballet.
"I hate you!" she screamed at him.
She immediately regretted it but was too ashamed and angry to take it back.
Ichigo was stunned. His eyes went wide, mouth dropped open and he swore his heart stopped. Sora started to sob and she ran out of his study. "Sora!" he called after her.
She ran up the stairs and slammed her door shut. She quickly locked the door behind her and pressed her back against the door. She heard both Ichigo and Orihime knock, demanding to know what was going on with her.
But all she could was cry.
Unohana Retsu closed her chart and gave Rukia a happy smile. "You're going to be fine," she told her.
Rukia wasn't convinced.
"Are you sure?"She asked grimly. Retsu nodded and placed her hand on Rukia's shoulder.
"I wish you came in earlier when you had your accident but nothing looks wrong with your baby. Ultrasound confirms that he's okay, blood tests are great, and your cervix is closed."
From all of the research Rukia did on her phone she knew that in the case of a miscarriage a closed cervix was a good thing. Unless she had a missed miscarriage like she did last time.
Her baby died inside the womb but the fetus didn't leave her body. Because she was unaware of her condition she continued to believe she was pregnant until she started getting sick. The fetus had cause an infection inside her and she had to have surgery to remove it.
"I was bleeding Unohana-sensei," Rukia calmly reminded her doctor. She felt her heart beating like crazy. She was anticipating any bad news Retsu might deliver.
Retsu sat next to Rukia and took her hand. She was Rukia's doctor during her last pregnancy and saw how much her miscarriage hurt her. She understood that Rukia was secretly panicking.
"It wasn't a lot of blood. Just some potting but you still are at a risk for another miscarriage."
"What do I do?"
"Rukia," she gave her a reassuring smile, "you have to prepare yourself if the worst were to happen. However, you can't think negatively and let it take over your life."
Rukia nodded in agreement. She was scared but she couldn't let it control her life right now.
Rukia stretched out on her bed with her cellphone in her ear. Shuhei had been gone for a week and a half. They spoke on the phone every day and that made Rukia feel a little less lonely. She was determined to be happy with him and put her entire energy in making their relationship work.
"I miss you," she purred into the receiver.
"I miss you more."
"When are you coming home again?" she asked. She hadn't told him about her pregnancy. She wanted to do it in person and see his reaction. She still wasn't sure how he would react. They talked about her miscarriage and the damage it did but never about having children together. She wasn't even sure if he wanted children, she just assumed he did since he would always smile at them in public.
Shuhei sighed, "I know I said I was going to leave this week but it looks like I might have to stay another week at the most. I'm going to miss Christmas. I'm sorry Rukia, I really want to be there bu-
"Its fine I understand," she assured him, "Just come home soon okay?"
"I will, I promise."
After a few more minutes she hung up. She crossed her arms behind her head and tried to relax. Her mouth crawl into a smile and she started run her hand down her flat stomach.
She was pregnant.
"Hopefully your daddy comes home soon," she told the little visitor in her belly.
A/N: I didn't write what happened between Orihime and Ichigo after their last fight because I wanted to focus on Sora and her feelings towards the whole Byakuya being her father issue. She doesn't know what's going on between her parents (yet). I just wanted to clarify that.
Thank you for all the reviews! I get very happy when I read them. Honestly, I was really worried about the reaction I would get about the whole Hisana/Kaien and Rukia being pregnant plot. It was something I had planned from the very beginning along with Orihime's past and Sora's paternity.
I'm going on a mini vacation so I won't update next week. If you're aching for some Ichi/Ruki and can't wait for the next chapter, I recommend you read the latest chapter of my other story No Love Lost.