This ending came up to me one day when I was reading a review. So I planned out this ending and here it is. People are either going to hate me or hate me.
Please enjoy this ending: This chapter takes place after Artemis kills Marco. (Chapter 50)
Alternate Ending: When the Heart Aches
When Rukia woke up, she was in total darkness. She couldn't see anything from afar. After Marco shot her with a small cero her mind went a completely blank. She wondered what was going to happen to everyone, she failed them, she was no guardian. She had sinned; she died before she could fulfill Shirayuki's sentence. Now the world was doomed for destruction and it's all her fault.
'I wanted to save everyone but all I ended up doing was destroying them.'
Rukia felt a butterfly's wing brushed her cheek, snapping her out of her thoughts. She turned around to look for the butterfly. She chased after it, hoping that it would lead to a way out of this darkness. The butterfly fluttered away straight forward, Rukia sprinted to the light. As she entered the light, she recognized where she was. "This is Rosa Giardino, it always leads back to this place..."
She walked up the hill where all her memories lay, both happy ones and sad ones. Now that she thought about it her journey as a guardian began in her inner realm. When Rukia reached the top of the hill she leaned on the oak tree that kept a look out. She looked at the tree's branches; each had a flower bud ready to blossom any second.
"Welcome to your inner realm, Priestess. I wish to speak to you." A monotone voice echoed through the garden.
"There is no need to fear little one, you called for me with your pure heart."
"Me?" Rukia placed her hand towards her chest, feeling her heartbeat. "I did this?"
"Can I show myself to you?" the voice asked.
Rukia nodded, a large ball of flame burned in front of her. The flame slowly took a human shape; Rukia noticed the crystal lock engulf in black flames. The flame entity placed her hand on Rukia's cheek, leaving a small tingle on it. The figure looked to the horizon, it seemed in deep thought. Rukia wondered who this entity was. It couldn't be Shirayuki since she is still locked inside the blade.
"Who are you?" Rukia asked.
"My name is Artemis, queen of all spirits."
Rukia jumped back in shock, such a powerful being inside of this world. Artemis turned around and in its silhouette she smiled. That smile brought her a sense of calm. Her thoughts brought her back to the situation at hand, the ritual.
"What should I do?" Rukia asked.
"What do you want to do?" Artemis asked back. "I will only do what you wished from me."
"I wanted to be together with Takeshi and the others but now…"
"Now you have to save everyone, by giving yourself up." Artemis finished for her.
Rukia sat down on the grass; she lowered her head to see a small flower growing between her legs. Artemis placed a hand on her shoulder in sympathy that was all she could do for her.
"I want to save them, I want to save him!"
"You and the other priestess must seal the gate, with my help the gate will disappear. But I can't save you. You must give you your life energy to seal the gate."
"Is there anything you want me to do for you?" Artemis asked.
Rukia thought long and hard, she didn't want anyone to suffer because of her selfish wish. Her heart clenched at the thought of her next words. She hated to say them but it will be… for the better.
"I left two letters with Reborn, once the both letters are read I want you to erase their memories of me."
"Do you not wish for them to remember what you did for them?"
"I want them to be happy, especially Takeshi. I want him to fall in love again after I am gone. I want them to reach out to their futures without my memory holding them back." Rukia reached out and held onto Artemis hand, "will you please do that for me?"
"You have my word Priestess, I am sorry that it turned out this way…"
Rukia shook her head, "There is nothing you have to apologize about. I am happy that I have met all them, my family."
"When you wake up you will be send back to your body." Artemis explained, "You have to seal the gate before it is too late."
"Thank you, Artemis."
Yamamoto jerked up from his sleep. His muscles felt sore, as if he slept too much. He looked around and saw the massive gate in front of him like the one in his dreams. At the center of the cavern was Rukia in her white kimono. Ignoring the pain, he stood up and sprinted towards Rukia. He wrapped his arms around her and held her in an embrace. Yamamoto rested his chin on her soft hair, he finally reached her.
Rukia turned around and hugged him back. Her hot tears rolled down her face. She wanted to curse fate for doing what it did. She listened as Yamamoto whispered into her ear how glad he got to her on time. What he didn't realize was that it was too late and she signed her life away. Rukia didn't have the heart to tell him that. So she leaned up and kissed him on the lips, that kiss felt differently than all the others, maybe because it will be the last time she could ever kiss him. She could hear from a distance Tsuna and the others starting wake up, it was the last chance she had to see them.
'It is for the best after all.'
The massive gates slowly opened, releasing black aura from its interior. A strong gust came forth from the gates. Rukia struggled herself free from Yamamoto's protective embrace. She will protect them with her life. Rukia begin to cast a protective barrier in front of Yamamoto, splitting them apart. His eyes widened and started to bang on the barrier, Rukia could see it in her eyes. They were begging for an answer, why are you doing this?
He wouldn't understand, and soon he will forget her, everyone will. It will hurt at first but the pain will go away, at least she hoped it did. Yamamoto looked down at his feet, a diamond seal with the crystal lock insignia at the center was slowly rotating under him. His eyes widened at what she was about to do.
"Rukia…" he muttered, then it leaped out of his throat, "Rukia!"
Rukia gave him a soft warm smile, before she snapped her fingers and watched as Yamamoto and the others disappear. The barrier expanded and took its place on the doors.
Rukia had to resign herself to fate, she was ready, she had no regrets, and it was the end.
Kyoko and Haru watched in horror as the sky darkened with each passing second. There was nothing they could do but watch as the darkness swallowed the manor. They felt dread in their hearts, as if something bad happened. As if they had lost someone, someone they care about. Luna could only comfort them as best as she could.
White flames appeared before them and slowly take shape, it took the shape of Rukia.
"Hey Kyoko-chan, Haru-chan." the silhouette Rukia greeted.
"Rukia-chan?" Kyoko went out and reach her but her hand passed through the flames unharmed. "Is that you?"
"No," the Rukia silhouette shook her head. "I am no longer the Rukia you know, I am not human."
"What's happening priestess?" Luna asked.
"The gate is opened and gone out of control." The silhouette Rukia turned around watching the sky being swallowed by the darkness. "It is my job to fix the mess I caused."
"What is going to happen to you?" Haru asked.
"The reason that the priestess holds unlimited power during this ritual is to stop something like this from happening. Once I close the gate, my life will…"
"No please don't leave us Rukia-chan!" Kyoko and Haru tried to reach out once more to stop Rukia from disappearing only to pass through her body and stumble to the ground. "What about Yamamoto-san and the others?"
"That's why I came to you guys, I want you to promise that you will take care of them." The silhouette Rukia fell to her knees, "I wanted to stay with him, and maybe die with him but I want all of you to have a future."
"This is goodbye, please take care of Nel as well." The silhouette Rukia vanished only her voice was left. "I left her with Grimmjow but he might need a little help."
Orihime could feel something was about to happen under the manor. Her body started radiate a dim white glow. A diamond seal with a cross insignia at the center appeared underneath her feet. She smiled knowingly of what's to come. Grimmjow held on to her wrist tight, refusing to let her go.
"You can go!" Grimmjow growled
"I'm sorry Grimmjow it's for the best."
"How do you know that? You're going to leave me behind!" Grimmjow loosened his grip, "I don't want you to disappear."
"I won't disappear; I will always remain in your heart."
Orihime yanked her arm away from Grimmjow and closed her eyes. She let the light from the seal take her to where Rukia was. A second before she was completely gone she wanted to give him one last memory. Orihime leaned forward and gave him a kiss, their lips ghostly touched but to Grimmjow he felt her warmth. With one last look she let the light guide her to where Rukia was.
When the light died down Grimmjow saw Tsuna and the others confused of their surroundings. Grimmjow immediately thought of Rukia doing something like this, to keep her friends safe. He caught sight of Yamamoto; his broken face told him all he needed to know.
Ukitake was about to asked them how did they arrived, when a bright stream of light that came from the direction of the gates shot forth from the ground to the sky. The stream of light started to slowly cleared away the eclipse and clouds, the stream got smaller and smaller until it also disappeared.
The sky looked clear, as if the events that happened a few minutes ago never occurred.
Yamamoto didn't listen to the voices around him. He couldn't feel anything, nothing at all. He broke into a run towards the mansion, it was like his instincts taken over and they were leading him to the place where he was before.
"Follow him," Reborn ordered.
Tsuna and the gang followed Yamamoto into the mansion. Renji threw Ichigo's arm around his shoulders and helped him walk. Ukitake did the same for Grimmjow. They were also worried about Rukia, they had to know what happened in that place and figure out what was that light. However everyone had the same feeling in the heart, that Rukia was no longer part of this world.
For once they hoped that their instincts were wrong.
When Yamamoto finally reached the end of the long hall, he pushed the old doors and ran into the cavern; the roof of the cavern was gone. He could see a mysterious figure at the center of the cavern. He sprinted towards that spot, hoping that figure was Rukia. However he stopped when he saw that the figure was a man. Yamamoto could hear Tsuna and the others catching up.
"Who are you?" the man asked.
"I'm Yamamoto Takeshi; I want to know where Rukia is?"
The man shook his head, he lead Yamamoto deeper into the now lit cavern. The man stopped at looked down, Yamamoto did the same. His eyes widened when he saw Rukia's Vongola ring.
"Boss!" Yamamoto heard someone's voice but he didn't recognize who that person was.
Tsuna and the others finally caught up with Yamamoto and Byakuya. When they saw the Vongola ring on the ground they knew that it was too late. Chrome placed her hand to her mouth and started to cry, the others couldn't believe it.
On the ground close by there was the crystal lock with a single white feather, Yamamoto reached for the feather and with one touch they were all blinded by a strong light. Someone else's memories flowed through their heads.
Rukia looked behind her to find Orihime with a sad look on her face. But the look in her eyes meant that she knew what they had to do to save them. Yet, even if they knew it still didn't made things any easier. Orihime walked towards her and leaned on Rukia's back. Their hands clasped together, the white butterfly tattoo on Rukia's right hand transferred over to Orihime.
"What's wrong Orihime?"
"You think that Grimmy and the others will be alright after this?"
"They'll be fine, they're strong after all, I'm sure it will pain them a bit but they will get used it."
"That's silly Rukia, but you're right. One day they will move on."
"No that's silly," Rukia scolded, "Remember we're leaving our hearts with them, as long as we exist in even one memory we will always be there for them."
The light around them started to grow stronger; they could feel their bodies drifting away. Rukia held Orihime's hands tightly. Both knew that the other had a look of acceptance and regret. But it was all they could do.
"I'm sorry Takeshi…"
Once the light died down everyone looked at each other with looks of surprise and sadness. The rocky texture was now filled with asters and white, yellow, and dark pink roses. Unohana couldn't hold back her tears any longer; she understood what the flowers meant.
"It seems that Rukia and Orihime left a message for all of you." Ukitake said, looking at the field of flowers.
"What do you mean captain?" Ichigo asked, he closed his eyes and tried to hold back his tears, unlike Renji who was almost sobbing.
"Each flower has its own meaning," he explained, trying as hard as he could to not let his voice break. " The aster means 'a heart that believes', white roses mean 'eternally', dark pink roses means 'gratitude', and yellow roses means 'apology'. If you put it together it the message is…"
"'We're sorry for doing this, but we are grateful for everything. Our hearts believe in all of you'." Reborn finished explaining.
Yamamoto dropped to his knees and tried to hold back his tears. He looked down and saw a rose different from the rest, it was red. Yamamoto realized that rose as for him and it meaning was.
I love you.
Reborn felt the right time for them to receive the two letters that Rukia gave him before the ritual. He gave one of the letters to Unohana and the other to Yamamoto. Unohana cleared her throat and read aloud Rukia's final letter.
If everyone is reading this letter it means that I didn't make it through the ritual. I wanted to leave these last words, that way I won't have any regrets. I always hid my words, never expressing what I truly feel. I felt like I took all of you for granted, but now that I'm about to depart from this world, I realize how important everyone is. I'm sorry for yelling at all of you the other day. You guys were worried about me and I let my anger get the best of me, for that I am sorry. These words are from the bottom of my heart.
You always worked so hard in everything you put your mind to. I know we always had our quarrels but I wanted to say that I am proud of being your friend. When you fought Bel in the ring battles I was so scared that you weren't coming back. I remember that look in your eyes, the look of reaching for what you want, no matter the cost. I am glad that you grew out of it and realized what Tsuna wanted. I know you will become a great right hand man.
"You stupid woman." Gokudera snarled, his eyes focused on the floor.
My second brother, you were always there for me with your extreme ways and I wanted to thank you for all the strength you gave me, you are like the shinning sun that brightens our day. You were the first person who I opened my heart to. I wanted to thank you for your kind words and your countless energy, looking at you made me feel hyped up. Don't worry; you didn't break your promise. I wanted to do this; I wanted to protect you this time. Please don't be sad, you have to be strong for Kyoko, she is going to need you more than anything. Can you promise me that you will stay strong for her?
"I promise Rukia, to the extreme." Ryohei whispered.
You started to come out of your shell please don't go back. Remember that all of us are your family; even after I am gone they will still be there to protect you. I leave them in your care as a fellow female guardian, they need something to cling to, something to protect. I want you to be their pillar of support and their shield. I know that you are strong Chrome; you need to have more faith in your abilities. I have faith in you that you will show your true colors one day, even if I am not there.
Chrome only shook her head, whether it was to deny what Rukia was saying or because she couldn't believe what the letter stated.
We really never talk that much, and that is one thing that I regret. I won't say much since you hate babbling. Please keep the disciple with these guys will you? They're going to need it…
"I don't take orders from anyone herbivore."
Please take care of Nel for me, I really hate for her to be alone and she likes you. I hope that you can be strong for her and from them. I wanted to thank you for looking after me until now, I felt a sense of comfort when you first showed up at my doorstep. From when you trained me for the ring battles to when we sparred, I got stronger thanks to you. I hope that you keep an eye out for the guys. I know I am asking too much from you but I know that you can do it.
"Are you fucking satisfied shrimp? Tell me does this make you happy!" he growled, though he knew that it wouldn't matter anymore.
Ichigo and Renji,
You two made my life a complete mess and I loved it. With you two we always broke out of the boring normality, with Grimmjow into the mix it was always fun. Take care of Nii-sama, I don't want him to shatter after this. He will need the two of you to keep the family together. And I am sorry for running away the first time we saw each other again.
"You always did what you wanted."
"Was there no other way?" Ichigo asked out loud. There was no answer, there didn't need to be because they already knew that answer.
I know that you never wanted to be a mafia boss but I am glad that I met you. It's because of you that I got to meet everyone else. Remember Tsuna, the future is yours for the taking. Even if Reborn tells you otherwise, I know that you will listen to your heart and choose what's best for you. Whatever you end up doing reach it with your dying will…
"Rukia-san, thank you." Tsuna tried to wipe his tears, but more fell. He couldn't tell if he was thanking her for saving them or for her final words of encouragement.
Please give the second page to Takeshi, that letter is for him alone.
I wanted to leave these words before I face my fate; I want to pray that everything will turn out for the better. But I want everyone to know that even if I leave this world I will never forget everyone, you guys will always remain in my heart.
Yamamoto stared at the letter intensely, he didn't want to open that letter, because he knew it meant goodbye. Yet he listened to the other letter, he heard all of the words of encouragement that she gave them and the apology she held out to them. With one final deep breath he opened the letter; he began to read the words to himself.
If you are reading this letter then it means that I succeeded in rescuing you and I'm no longer there. I wanted to find a way to say goodbye. As painful as those words sound I have to let them out, I don't want you to suffer because of me. I hope that you do hate me for leaving you behind, if it means that you will move on then so be it.
'I can never hate you…'
Takeshi you were always like the rain, so gentle as a shower yet you can turn into a strong downpour. When I was with you always managed to wash away all of my worries, when I was sad you were there, when I was happy you gave me that smile. That honest smile that made my heart flutter whenever I saw it. Please, never lose that smile; it makes you who you are.
'I wasn't strong enough to make you happy…'
Your love was pure and true, and I ended up betraying it. I saved you for my own selfish reasons and for that I will not apologize. I would have done it again and again if it meant that you guys have a future. Remember that no matter where you are, I will always be in your heart.
I better end this letter, since I am running out of time. Please remember that I will always love you and that you will always be in my heart. Maybe one day we will meet again, in another life.
I hope you find someone that will love you as much as I did.
Yet the thought of you being with someone else makes me sad, it makes my heart crumble with regret.
In the end I might have hurt you more instead of saving you and for that I'm sorry.
If it is too painful then forget about me
PS: if I could even be in a fracture of a memory then I will be happy
Yamamoto crush the letter in his hands, the pain in his heart was greater than any pain he received in any battle. He felt empty; he wanted to curse the world for taking her away. He looked at the red rose that stood proudly in front of him. He took it by the stem, not caring about the thorns and let its petals fly away. No one said a word; there was nothing that they could say to comfort him.
Yamamoto fell to his knees and cried, he cried for his loss. He didn't care about who was watching or what anyone else said. He looked at the bloodied hand, and let it fall to the floor. One drop of blood touched the crystal lock. A powerful light shined bright, the lock floated high to the sky. Everyone head someone whispers something in their ears.
"You will forget about me, there is no reason to be sad." The voice said, "it's best to forget…"
The light grew stronger and brighter swallowing everyone in the process. This was Rukia's last gift, the gift to move one without her. In Yamamoto's head, however there was a different thought going through his head.
'I will not forget, no matter what!'
The morning wind was chilly as Yamamoto walked up the large hill. He had visited this place many times before but winter was just around the corner. When he finally reached that place he stood in front of it, the sun was just about to rise. Yamamoto loved that place it was the only place that he could relax and watch the sun rise.
"Hey there." He called out to the wind. "It's been a while hasn't it?"
He dug his hands into his pockets, shielding them from the cold.
"I wanted to keep you up to the current events. Guess what? Tsuna finally proposed to Kyoko last night. They seemed so happy, sensei said that Tsuna finally developed some balls" he chuckled.
"Tsuna is still constructing the base here in Nanimori, so when it's done we can move our main base here. I like that idea, that way I can come here more often."
Yamamoto took out a small bouquet of forget-me-nots and placed them on the grave.
"Ichigo has officially taken your place as guardian of the moon. Byakuya said it would serve as bond between the Kuchiki and Vongola He's a great guy to get along with; he's my drinking buddy when sempai is away on missions."
Yamamoto looked at his watch; the clock read 6:30 am. The train was about to leave in one hour. He took out a small katana pendant and blank piece of paper. He hung the pendant around his neck and turned around to leave.
It has been three years since the ritual incident. The day after the ritual passed he realized that he was the only one who remembered her. Everyone else didn't remember who she was or the events that happened before. He begged Reborn to build a small grave in Nanimori, he never wanted to forget her, and strangely the small hitman agreed. He wanted to ask if he also remembered her but the subject never came up.
There was only one picture that still remained, everything else vanished without a trace. It was almost as if she never existed. It was painful that he was the only one that still remembered, he sometimes wondered if he was going to forget her soon. Now he comes every chance he gets to visit her, even if he is the only one who can't move on. He wondered if he could remember her with those forget-me-nots he placed on her grave every chance he got. On his way back he ran into Ryohei. The man had his bags, ready to head to the station.
"Where have you been Yamamoto?" Ryohei asked.
"The spot." He simply answered.
"Ah," he nodded in understanding. "You went to visit her again to the extreme?"
"Yeah, but now it's time to go."
They walked in silence; Ryohei knew that Yamamoto would generally be quiet when he came back from his visits. He wondered who was the girl was that Yamamoto missed; he would always hear Yamamoto talking to someone who wasn't there. But to each of his own sanity, it was his business. All he could do as a friend is to be there when he needs it.
"So Yamamoto, mind telling me again who is this girl that you extremely miss?"
"Someday we might see her again." That was all Yamamoto said.
"Until then I will be fighting by your side."
Alt: When the Heart Aches end
Well here you go, this is the last chapter to A Matter of the Heart. I wanted to thank Hokkyokusei and Grenouille-85/Grenny851 for being my betas all this time and Inuno for beta-ing ch. 29. To all who reviewed, and the silent readers. I would have never finished this story if it wasn't for you guys. I have a few stories planned after this, so look forward to it.