Title: Doting Brothers and a Confounding Father
Characters: Byakuya, Ichigo, Isshin
Disclaimer: No, still own nothing.
A/N: Lookie at what I found in the deepest lair of my computer! A few tweaks and here it is- a modest story intended as humor with no perverse meaning anywhere.
Kurosaki Isshin sat rather comfortably in his armchair. Both feet planted on the floor, his posture straight and his hands causally to the sides- he was as comfortable as any man could be.
It was a cool June evening, not the usual sticky, hot summers that are so common in Karakura Town but a cold, chilly evening. Best of all, the snow was starting to melt!
Yes, yes it is quite odd that it should be snowing in the middle of the summer. The meteorologist had stood baffle, coming up with theories and hypothesis as to why it has snowed when he had predicted a major heat wave. Of course, all of it were just half-ass explanations for a truly, miraculous phenomena. Miraculous indeed! The air-conditioner broke last month, and though he had volunteered many times to fix it, his children repeatedly insisted to leave it be (Isshin with his clumsiness would somehow find a way to destroy the house, they reasoned).
The clinic had been running pretty slow lately, so there was no money to hire a repairman. It seemed as though the Kurosaki family would surely fry this summer, but then the impossible happened— a blizzard appeared over night! It was a fieriest blizzard with howling winds and heavy snow.
The unexpected cold weather also brought in a number of patients with the flu, so the family business was absolutely booming.
Isshin was just as comfortable as any other man, more perhaps for his change of fortune. But, and here he tries to muster the best of smiles, he is not truly happy. How could he ever be happy, how can he ever smile and laugh and sing when he was being force to give up his fresh and blood?
"Karin! Have you brought Daddy's favorite mug?"
His beautiful daughter Karin entered the living room. She was a stunning girl with striking dark looks, just like her dear Papa.
She made a face but held out a tall white mug with big red letters reading, 'Best Daddy in the World!' Graciously, she handed the two other tea cups and settled a plate of cookies that his other beautiful daughter, Yuzu, had baked this morning. Seeing that everyone had a cup of tea, Karin sat behind her father, taking a seat on a wooden chair.
Automatically, Isshin dived for the cookies- last time Ichigo, his rowdy, stubborn son had eaten most of the cookies- and he chuckled in triumph at snatching up the largest piece. Ichigo looked at him but Isshin naturally ignored him, his mouth full with the delicious cookies.
Isshin then grabbed his mug, taking a great gulp of the hot liquid and all at once spluttered the coffee, yelping out in pain at his burned throat. All the occupants' eyes turned to him.
"Dad," Ichigo muttered trying to contain his annoyance. "Can you at least act appropriately?"
"This is my house!" he asked through a mouthful of cookies. "I can act however I want!"
He certain thought so. For shame! A villain has entered his impenetrable fortress and was planning on stealing one of his beautiful daughters, and he certainly will not let so.
"It is alright Kurosaki. I would rather be attended by an ignoramus than a charlatan."
"Why thank you!" Isshin answered proudly, not quite realizing that he has been insulted.
He picked out another cookie. "So Kuchiki-san," Isshin asked finally looking at the man seated across from him, his voice deep and what would hopefully be intimidating. He took a bite of the cookie. "What are your intentions with my daughter?"
"Excuse me?" Byakuya asked.
Ichigo slammed his fist on the man's face. The force was so great that Isshin fell over backwards, chair and all, before Ichigo turned to wonk him even harder on the head. Enraged that Ichigo would allow one of his precious sisters to be taken away, Isshin jumped at him readily, about to to give him a mighty kick but Ichigo caught his ankle throwing him against the wall. He landed with a thud.
"How many times do I have to tell you, old man? This is Rukia's brother!"
"I don't care who he is!" Isshin yelled out, rising from the floor with red marks all over his face. "I am not giving away one of my beautiful daughters!"
Karin rolled her eyes, leaning her cheek into her palm, sighing at the foolishness of her father. The supposed suitor had arrived this Sunday afternoon, dressed in an elegant suit politely introducing himself as Kuchiki Byakuya- Rukia's older brother.
She remembered Rukia speaking of her brother in a tone of admiration and pride. 'He is a great man', she had said, 'a great and honourable man with such a cool demure you would think he has a heart of stone, but he does not. He is most generous and kind and he has great artistic skill too!'
As soon as she opened the door, she knew this was Rukia's older brother. Indeed he did have that cool demure and that courteous, respectful tone.
Goat man had been lounging on the couch watching his soaps, dressed in his fuzzy polka-dotted pajamas and yelling passionately at the screen. He cried out in protest when Karin turned off the TV but then his eyes caught sight of the stranger, he leaped in the air quickly coming up with an excuse as to why the mortgage payment was late and to please not foreclose their home.
"This is Rukia's brother," Karin explained. "Kuchiki Byakuya-san."
The older man nodded, briefly eying his state of dress but not commenting on anything. He explained that he had been overseas when he heard of Rukia's misfortunate and had been delayed based on unforeseeable circumstances but the issue was resolved and he has returned to Japan. "I thank you for your hospitality, sir," he told Isshin, his face cool as Rukia had described, despite Isshin's humorous state. "And I apologize for any inconvenience that might have befallen on your family. But I have returned and Rukia will not be imposing on you much longer. "
"I am taking Rukia home."
Isshin raced up stairs, cursing that this was an even worse fate than the foreclosure of the house. He kicked open Ichigo's door, breaking the top hinge yet again. "What did Yoshi finally declare his love?"
"No! Ichigo, where do you keep your baseball bat?" he asked, half hysterically.
"In the closet. Why?"
"Some man is trying to take one of your sisters!" Isshin yelled out, throwing aside clothes and shoes and making a complete mess of the closet. He grinned as he spotted the priced position. "But don't worry Daddy's here!"
"What?" Ichigo demanded, tossing aside the manga he was reading, his brother instincts kicking over. He had a good mind to kill the bastard that was proposing matrimony to Yuzu when she had only turned 12 a few months ago.
Ichigo raced after his father, cursing under his breath that the old man had got the bat before him."Where's Karin?"
"In the living room."
"You left him alone with that sicko?" he cried in outrage. Isshin cried out in terror. In three seconds flat, the two Kurosaki men broke into the living room, each one of them giving the deadliest glare they could muster, one while wearing polka dotted pajamas.
"Oi," Ichigo yelled angrily, "Just what the hell do you think you're doing to my… sister?"
"Kurosaki Ichigo," Byakuya answered coolly. "I was under the assumption that Rukia is my sister."
"I am bringing Rukia home."
"Don't you even think of—" Isshin screeched, swinging the baseball bat wildly, but then it came crashing onto his skull. "You idiot!" Ichigo roared.
Thirty minutes later and a couple of bandages, all three men sat around the living room, patiently- well attempting to- wait. Rukia went with Yuzu to help her with the grocery shopping and had yet to return. Karin had texted her twin but Yuzu had sadly replied that the snow was making it difficult to get through.
Isshin continued munching on cookies, spilling crumbs all over his clothes. He had yet to change out of his pajamas and looked more like a two-year old then their guardian. Ichigo in turn glared at his father, hoping he didn't do anything more stupid or embarrassing.
"Would you like more tea, Kuchiki-san?" Karin asked noticing that his teacup was nearly empty. Karin knew that Kuchiki Byakuya must have the similar powers to her brother's- maybe even stronger. Whatever the case it was probably best not to upset this man as her father had previously another powerful individual.
"No, thank you," he said politely.
That's why Karin realized Kuchiki Byakuya and Rukia looked nothing alike. Whereas she and Yuzu and Ichigo all shared the same nose and looked alike around the eyes, Byakuya and Rukia had nothing in common. Rukia was tiny with dark raven hair, a round face and large violet eyes. Her brother had sharp features- a long face that made a pointed chin and strong jaw.
He was educated, Karin can notice, and well-manner, as though he were a sort of aristocratic. Perhaps he is an aristocrat! A prince of some sort- Ichi-nii does hang out with an assortment of characters. It wouldn't be too far fetch to think that Kuchiki Byakuya was a prince because he certainly is as handsome as a prince.
"Huh?" she asked trying to hide the blush in her face. Byakuya's gray eyes look at her and she feels her heart flutter. Why hadn't Rukia told them her brother was this handsome?
"Bring Daddy more cookies!" Normally she would have angry spat but her face began to flush into many shades of red that she simply rushed into the kitchen.
"Dad just shut up, okay?" Ichigo interrupted. Who knows what other nonsense his father could come up with? "Wait until Rukia and Yuzu get back."
"Listen here Ichigo, I am your father! And you have to do obey your father just like Karin. Now let me speak or you shall go to your room, stubborn son!" It would have been more serious if he hadn't been wearing those polka-dotted pajamas, still Ichigo held his tongue.
"As I was saying, Kuchiki-san you were overseas when this terrible tragedy occurred to Rukia-chan, yes?"
"Correct," Byakuya answered. Isshin nodded. "Tell me Kuchiki-san will you take care of Rukia-chan?"
"Of course I will take care of Rukia, sir," he answered. But Isshin shook his head. "I know you have money and power and influence. But will you truly care for our beloved Rukia-chan?"
Byakuya looked at him.
"You had been overseas when Rukia-chan needed you the most. The poor girl had no one! Everyone turned their back on her, and when she needed her brother the most, he was gone doing business, not bothering to lift one finger for her."
Ichigo wanted to rebuttal that this whole tragedy was nothing more than some bad lie Rukia came up with, so she could stay over his place. But then Byakuya's cool face distorts not of confusion but more of guilt. These words, Isshin's words had a double meaning to them.
Ichigo glanced at his father, realizing for a moment that he was not a fool, but a devoted father.
"Ichigo, here helped her out. He saved her from the streets and brought her home. My house may not be as extravagant as I imagine yours to be, but I do not neglect my children. I believe that neglect is a cruel form of abuse, and I would be much upset if your household neglected such a gifted girl. She is loved in this house. I love her, as I love all my children, even my stubborn son. Karin and Yuzu love Rukia-chan as their sister, I love her as a daughter and Ichigo is madly in love with her."
"What! No, no!" he spluttered.
"Of course he is," Isshin winked. "I'm surprised he hasn't confessed and they are both riding out over the sunset—"
"Shut up Dad!" Ichigo kicked, gritting his teeth. The brief moment of respecting for his father vanished. Ichigo sat back in his chair, flinching slightly at the penetrating glare of Byakuya.
"Kurosaki Isshin I understand your worries and be assured that I do deeply care for Rukia. I admit that I have not treated her kindly in the past, but I see the errors in my ways. This past year has been nothing but conflict and now that it has finally passed, I want to start anew."
Ichigo blinked, this is the first time the silent captain has mentioned any sort of emotion for his sister.
"Rukia-chan admires you," Isshin commented. "Do you know that? She speaks so highly of you. I have guessed that you are not related by blood but Rukia-chan truly believes that you are her brother."
Byakuya smiled softly. "I truly think of her as my sister. She is my pride."
Isshin stood, clapping his hands together thinking to himself that this man is not a villain after all, but a handsome prince. "If that is so, I give you my blessings. You may take my daughter's hand in—"
"It's her brother!" Ichigo hollered, whacking his head, causing Isshin to fall over. Suddenly the kitchen door opened and Yuzu and Rukia finally enter with a handful of groceries. Rukia rushed to the living room, not bothering to take off her coat or mittens.
"Nii-sama," she greeted bowing before him, her face flushed. "I am sorry I have kept you waiting."
"Do not worry Rukia," he paused. "I have been greatly entertained."
Rukia turns towards Isshin on the floor before looking up at Ichigo and smirking. "Yes Nii-sama, Uncle and Ichigo are highly entertaining."
Byakuya ended up staying over for dinner, and he talked briefly to Rukia as to how she has been doing. Since the war ended and she had retured to Soul Society, he noticed her sadness. As a result he pulled a few strings causing Hitsugaya's Advance Squad to be reassembled in the human world.
It was a good idea, he thinks noticing that Rukia is radianting with happiness, eager to recall her stories, smiling much more often than her weeks in Seririte.
"Rukia-chan will you come to visit us again?" Yuzu asks, her eyes saddening to see another one of her older siblings disappear.
"May I, Nii-sama?" she asked looking at him.
"Of course you may Rukia."
Rukia helped Yuzu clear the table, but it is more like being interrogated by the Kurosaki twins. Both of them had come to the conclusion that her brother is secretly a handsome prince, how they came up with this Rukia doesn't know. Isshin finally changed from his polka-dotted pajamas into his stripped pajamas and was currently flipping channels, crying that he had missed the season finalie to his favorite soap.
Alone in this crowded house, Ichigo hesitantly approaches Byakuya.
"Sorry 'bout that Byakuya," Ichigo apologized scratching the back of his head. The Sixth Captain flinched, he has yet to adjust to Kurosaki's casual speech. "My dad's crazy like that. He's rude and he acts like an idiot most of the time. But I guess he's just overly protective you know, especially around Yuzu and Karin and I guess he's gotten to Rukia too."
"He is a doting parent, I suppose. He reminds me of my late grandfather- in devotion for his kin of course," he quickly added. "My grandfather certainly was not such a great a fool."
"Sure," Ichigo agreed, realizing that he would never get through that tough Kuchiki pride that Byakuya wears as an extra layer of skin. "So… my dad also says a bunch of nonsense. You wouldn't believe what he said to Toushirou about Ra-" he cleared his throat remembering the boy's vicious glare that promised death and excruciating pain if he ever breathe one word to anyone. "My dad says a bunch of stupid things."
"Yes he does because if all the things he said were true, then I might have to kill you Kurosaki." He said it with such seriousness that Ichigo shuddered.
"Remember how you were so eager to protect your sister against some 'sicko?'" he reminded with such accurate terminology. Ichigo fluttered- he hadn't said that, had he? "I am glad we share similar ideas."
Ichigo wanted to protest that he's was not some 'sicko' but then it would only confirm Isshin's wild accusations, which are clearly false.
Before long it is time to leave, and Isshin, ever-so tearful bids goodbye to his daughter and pats Byakuya's back telling him he's proud to have him as a son. "Bye," Rukia says smiling at Ichigo.
"Bye," he says and he smiles, holding up his hand.
The Kurosaki family waves goodbye at the Kuchiki siblings, bits of snow dust blown by the wind. It seems almost like a picture, a perfect snowy scene in the middle of June that is. But the tranquility ends abruptly when Isshin barks out that he was not paying for a wedding- he could barely afford the mortgage as it is, before there is a thud.
"Wedding? Who's getting married Nii-sama?" Rukia asked, her hand tucked in his arm.
"I don't know," he answered holding Rukia's luggage. "That man simply baffles me."
"I know. When will the advance squad be reassembled?"
"In September- after the snow melts."
Rukia nods. Hitsugaya-taichou's outburst got the advance squad pulled early but she thinks it's alright. She had been wanting to see her taichou and home for some time now. "Has Renji returned to Seririte yet?"
Byakuya shook his head. His fukutaichou had asked for special permission to stay a few days, given that he had to pay a few debts to Urahara Kisuke. Urahara was using his second-in-command for manual labor in payment for housing. He'd have to bargain with Urahara, who was just a clown as Kurosaki's father, and somehow deal with Shihoin Yoruichi, the cat-demon that enjoyed pulling pranks and teasing him.
Inwardly he shuddered.
"Yes?" Byakuya asks thinking that he should give the heavy luggage to his fukutaichou to carry, after all the trouble he's going to go for him.
She smiles recalling the words she heard in the doorway. "Thank you."