Hi there! (^-^)/
This was inevitable, I simply had to write a Gin x Rukia fanfiction, there was no other way or I would never be able to say my life was full xD My two most favourite Bleach characters together… Mufufufu~ ( ´艸｀)
Originally it was supposed to be a one-shot, but it came out a little bit long, so I divided it into two parts. When I finish all the details in the second one, I'll upload it immediately. Shouldn't take me more than a week, so look out for it then! (・ω・)
Disclaimer: Don't own Bleach. If I did, this story might have not been just a fanfiction xD
But please note English isn't my first language, and so do forgive me any mistakes.
/She had always thought that for him, she was just an object to tease…/
Rukia had just graduated from the Shinigami Academy and was following her new adoptive brother, captain of the 6th Division, Kuchiki Byakuya. He was showing her around the main buildings of Seireitei, when a peculiar man crossed their path.
It was the first time Rukia met Ichimaru Gin, the captain of the 3rd Division.
From the first glance she found him repelling and before he got even a chance to show himself from some good side (she doubted he had any), she right off the bat labelled him as a creepy and malicious man. Those squinting eyes, slender build, thin fingers and especially that grin… Everything about him screamed he was dangerous and that she should be extremely careful around him. She was genuinely scared of him.
"Mornin', capt'n Kuchiki-san, how's yer day?" he greeted her brother, while his wide smile didn't waver even a bit.
"It's well, thank you, Ichimaru," replied Byakuya casually and she wondered how he could so calmly interact with this man.
"An' what do we 'ave 'ere?" Gin asked curiously looking at Rukia as if he hadn't noticed her before.
"She's Rukia, my sister," explained the Kuchiki heir. "For now, she's in my Division, but when she gets accustomed to Gotei-13, she'll probably go to a different one."
The silver-haired captain looked her up and down, assessing her carefully and therefore making her awfully uneasy to the point she wanted to hide behind her Nii-sama. However not wanting to act as a coward, she somehow withstood his unnerving stare.
"Hullo, Rukia-chan," he said cheerfully after a moment.
"Good morning, captain Ichimaru," bowing deeply she replied politely, proud of herself that she didn't stammer. She could feel beads of cold sweat streaming down her back and her hands were trembling slightly.
"Hmm… Maybe ya'll end up in my Division, who knows?" he wondered aloud and putting his hand on her head he laughed, "Nah, ya're too weensy."
Rukia didn't know how to react to this. Should she apologise for her height? Should she take it as a joke and chuckle with him? Should she feel insulted? Blinking few times, she arrived at a simple conclusion that she was at a loss. But at the same time she was glad that she might not become his subordinate.
"I wish ya a good day, capt'n Kuchiki-san, Rukia-chan," said Gin happily and with a wave of his hand he continued on his way.
/She had always thought that his actions had deeper, usually malicious meaning…/
Rukia had just been transferred to the 13th Division (how she had rejoiced in her heart it wasn't the 3rd!) and had a feeling it might be the place she belonged to. Everyone was nice to her and even though she was a Kuchiki, they treated her as if she was one of them. Thanks to captain Ukitake and vice-captain Shiba for the first time she felt she could be herself, she felt normal.
That's why she couldn't fail them. At the moment she was on a mission in the Human World as a part of a Hollow-exterminating squad. There were six of them.
Against around thirty Hollows.
Six rookies stood no chance against them or actually two of the rookies for one was dead, two were seriously wounded, another one was trying to tend their injuries and so it was only Rukia and her last companion who were trying their very best to fend off Hollows' attack. They were trapped in a dead alley, already exhausted from the fight.
They had contacted Soul Society for the back up, but who knew when they would arrive. And they didn't have much time – with every second their bodies were feeling more and more sluggish, the time of their reactions was becoming slower, their zampakutōs heavier, their minds less focused. In short, the fatigue was mercilessly beginning to take its toll on them.
"I'll try to distract those two big and then you finish them off," Rukia said to her companion and before he managed to reply, she ran on the building's wall and jumping in the air, she started an incantation for a spell. "Hadō-no san— Ugh!"
However suddenly behind her appeared another Hollow and hit her sending her flying. She crashed hard against a roof and scraped against it painfully for few metres. She wanted to quickly get up, but her body refused to move; it seemed she had reached her limit. And what worse, a rhino-like Hollow was charging at her. She closed her eyes ready to receive a fatal blow.
Then unexpectedly she felt someone pulling her by her waist and she found herself pressed protectively against someone's chest.
"Captain Ichimaru..." she breathed out with eyes wide in surprise, recognising the voice.
"Ah, made it in time. Hold on tight an' leave the rest to us," Gin told her referring to himself and to his recently nominated lieutenant, Kira Izuru. His tone was as carefree as always.
Without thinking much, she put her arms around his neck. From the corner of her eye with amazement she observed as he in the means of seconds eliminated all the Hollows. He was a truly terrifying fighter, however she felt safe holding onto him. At least she didn't feel threatened by anything nor anyone except Ichimaru himself.
"T'was the last one, I s'ppose," he commented. "Ya're 'kay there, Rukia-chan?"
"Yes, you can put me down now, captain Ichimaru," she told him awkwardly, but there was no reaction from him as if he hadn't heard her.
The 4th Division's members were already treating her companions' injuries and when they were ready to move the wounded, they departed for the Soul Society.
"Captain Ichimaru, what is the condition of Kuchiki Rukia?" inquired one of the medics, noticing her being carried by the silver-haired captain.
"She's fine," Gin answered cheerfully with a wide grin. "Nothin' too serious, but I'll take 'er to the 4th Division, just in case."
"Captain Ichimaru, I can walk there by myself," she said, this time loudly enough there was no way he couldn't have heard her.
"I 'ave to make sure capt'n Kuchiki-san's lil' sis' is safe and sound," he replied after a pause in that exasperatingly blithe manner.
"I'm really fine," she said forcibly, trying not to hiss at him in irritation. Why did everyone view her through the prism of her family when she wasn't even a Kuchiki by blood? Keeping her annoyance to herself, she added politely, "And I wouldn't want you to devote your precious time for something this trivial, sir."
"Nonsense," Gin chuckled at her formal way of addressing him. "An' 4th Division is right next to mine, so few minutes won't kill me."
Rukia had never felt more embarrassed in her life.
And what was worse – after this mission Nii-sama made sure she wouldn't get any seated position and therefore she wouldn't be sent on any mission that might put her in danger.
Of course, she blamed it on Ichimaru, that bastard.
/She had always thought that he relished in her suffering…/
Kaien-dono had died…
No, she had killed him.
Today had been his funeral, yet Rukia hadn't attended it for she didn't think she could face his family, she wasn't worth enough. Her presence would only profane the sacred ceremony. Even if she tried apologising as fervently as possible putting her whole self into the words and no matter how much she regretted her deed, it would be only an offence to them. Because she was despicable. She was unforgivable. And above all, she was weak. Not only physically, but her heart too was one of the weakest things that ever existed. How come it had gotten the right to even come into existence was beyond her.
She still could feel his blood on her hands. No matter how many times she washed them, she couldn't get rid of those stains, they were haunting her, reminding her of her sin.
And he had even thanked her!
For what? Being a coward?
Rukia was walking near the place of Kaien-dono's death. She was crying hard, her tears getting mixed with the rain that was heavily pouring down from the leaden sky. Yes, the weather quite suited her current mood. She had a feeling that the sun would never rise again, at least not for her. She didn't deserve it anyway.
She didn't know where she was going and she could see practically nothing in front of her because of the tears, but honestly she couldn't care less. She was drenched to the bone, her body was numb, just like hear mind and heart.
The petite Shinigami suddenly tripped over a tree root and fell onto a muddy ground. She lay like this for few moments and then rolled over on her back. The rain was hitting her face, so she had to close her eyes. A fleeting observation passed through her mind that her eyelids were getting heavier and heavier and that maybe she was on a good way to getting hypothermia. She might even die, but that perspective didn't frighten her; quite on the contrary – she found it rather comforting.
To die a lone death, away from others, forgotten just like it should be, just like she deserved it… However her dark musings were disturbed by a voice scarcely audible through the sound of the pouring rain.
No, not him, passed through her mind and a grimace of displeasure found its way to her face.
"Rukia-chan?" he repeated and she felt him putting his hand on her arm. She slowly opened her eyes to look at him; he was crouching over her with an umbrella.
"Leave me alone, Ichimaru," she said in a weak voice not caring she was rude to her superior.
"Ar'ya all right? Everyone's lookin' fer ya," Gin said and moving his hand to her cheek he noticed worriedly, "Ya're cold."
She didn't reply, only continued to stare at him with glassy eyes. However finding his expression weird (he looked kind of concerned with his brows knitted together), she looked away from him.
"Ya'll get sick like that," he spoke and made an attempt to lift her up, but she somehow shoved him away.
"I told you, leave me alone, Ichimaru," she repeated, this time with some force to her voice and leaning against the tree she dragged herself up, her legs barely supporting her. He tried to help her, but she pushed his hands away.
"What's wrong with ya?" Gin asked, catching her wrist.
"None of your business," Rukia hissed, trying to pull her hand away, but his grip was firm.
"'Tis 'bout Shiba-kun, ain't it?" he questioned her straightforwardly.
The images of her deceased commanding officer flashed through her mind and her eyes clouded with sorrow. Soon they began filling with more tears and she averted her gaze away from the silver-haired captain. Kaien-dono. It hurt so much… The fact that he was gone… And that she was the one who had taken his life… She would never be able to atone for this… There was no forgiveness for her.
"He's dead, ya can't do anythin' 'bout it," the captain of the 3rd Division told her gently, squeezing her wrist in an attempt of comfort.
"Shut up," the petite Shinigami growled, looking angrily at him.
Not discouraged, he continued, "Ya did everythin' to save 'im, but 't'was too late."
"I killed him, don't you understand?" she yelled at him finally snatching her hand away from his grip.
"It wasn't ya who killed 'im!" he raised his voice. It seemed he was getting weary from her stubborn self-blaming.
"Go to hell, Ichimaru!" she spat at him vehemently. He knew nothing of what had happened that day! How could he assume anything? He had no right!
"Why can't ya accept ya ain't at fault?" the silver-haired captain asked her in a gentler tone but still some tension resounded in it. "Why d'ya beat yerself up fer somethin' ya ain't responsible fer?"
Rukia only glared at him and made an attempt to go away, even though her legs felt weak.
Undaunted, Gin persisted, "Shiba-kun stupidly rush'd into enemy's lair without learnin' the situation first. If anythin'—"
"Shut the fuck up!" she bellowed at him and with contemptuous glare she cruelly added in a growl, "You disgust me. Now go away."
An emotion passed across his face but he quickly masked it and his face took on the look of impassiveness. "I'm not leavin' without ya," he told her firmly.
"Just do me a favour and go kill yourself," she snapped at him.
"Ya leave me no other choice, Rukia," Gin said coldly however a grin made its way to his face and before she could react, she felt a hit to the back of her head and the world went black.
/She had always thought that for him, she was simply an entertainment…/
Rukia was hurriedly walking towards her Division's Headquarters, but when she was turning a corner, suddenly someone appeared right in front of her. She managed to catch a sight of captain's white haori and so not wanting to bump into any of her superiors (after all it could be captain Zaraki or captain Kurotsuchi), she clumsily jumped backwards and loosing her footing, she tripped and fell on her butt.
"Oya, Rukia-chan, what'r'ya doin' on the floor?" came an amused voice of none other than Ichimaru Gin.
Her ears turned scarlet; thankfully they were covered with her hair so her embarrassment wasn't too evident. She didn't know what was worse – falling over in front of the captain of the 3rd Division or running into him. At least he wasn't laughing his ass off at her expense. However he did something much more disturbing…
To her horror he extended his hand offering her a help in getting up. But she didn't want to touch him! A chill ran down her spine at the very thought of it. However it would be rude of her if she didn't accept his help…
"Well?" he asked her tilting his head to the side. "Ar'ya goin' to spend a whole day on the floor?"
Tentatively shaking her head, she grudgingly grasped his hand and allowed him to lift her off the ground.
"I don't bite, see?" he chuckled, still holding her hand, his trademark grin as wide as ever.
To Rukia's surprise, his touch wasn't as repelling as she thought it would be. Actually his hand was nicely warm, when she had thought it would be all sticky and cold. And despite his slim body build, his grip felt strong. And for being, well, Ichimaru it was… caring even.
Eventually he let go of her hand and ruffling her hair, he told her, "Ya should train yer balance some more."
Before she could say anything, he disappeared.
/She had always thought that his life mission was to make her miserable…/
Rukia was walking with guards down the bridge from the Shrine of Penitence towards the Sōkyoku Hill. She didn't feel anything, didn't fear anything, she had no regrets, only hope that Ichigo and others would somehow get out of this alive. She made a decision that for her last wish she would ask Commander-General to spare their lives and send them home. It wasn't much, was it?
Her heart was tranquil, however this changed when she saw Ichimaru casually striding in her direction.
He started from teasing her maliciously about her rudeness and then said he was just joking. After that he agitated her with a seemingly offhand comment that Renji was still alive, but then without delay he voiced her fears that he would soon die anyway. And he started on such nonsense as that Renji had gotten cut up because he wanted to rescue her. But the worst of his taunting was yet to come…
"Are you afraid?" Gin asked out of blue.
Her eyes widened in shock at this question, but she quickly narrowed them in a glare, trying to push away any unnecessary thoughts that threatened to surface in the back of her mind. No, she wasn't afraid. She had accepted her fate by now. She wasn't afraid, she wasn't…
"D'ya want me to save ya?" he offered nonchalantly without paying attention to the alarmed guards.
"What?" Rukia honestly had no idea what he was up to. Was he serious? How could he save her? He was strong, yes, but… Besides what was in it for him? Nothing. Absolutely nothing at all. Then why? Maybe…
Unexpectedly, the silver-haired captain put his hand on her head. "Just kiddin'."
She looked at him disbelievingly. He just didn't…! No! NO!
"Bye, bye, Rukia-chan. Next time we shall meet in front of the Sōkyoku," he told her and turning on his heel, he started walking away.
And she screamed for he shattered her resolution. Just when she had accepted her impending death…! He gave her what she didn't wish for, what she was too afraid to hold onto, what she hadn't allowed herself to feel… The hope of surviving… He had made her want to live again!
She had never hated him more.
/She had always thought that he simply loved taunting her…/
Rukia was lying on the ground wounded quite badly after a lone fight with some Arrancars. She had won though right now her body was all battered up and refused to move. She was keeping her hand on her abdomen where was a deep cut that bled profusely and unfortunately her attempts on staunching it were ineffective. At this rate she was going to die. She just hoped that her friends were all right and that the Soul Society won this war.
The petite Shinigami closed her eyes, breathing out heavily. So this was it?
"Ara, Rukia-chan, ya ain't lookin' good," suddenly came a voice. His voice. She didn't want to look at him, especially if his face would be the last one she would see before dying. Could it get any worse?
"Ichimaru," Rukia hissed spitefully coughing on her own blood. She opened her heavy lidded eyes to glare at him. Shit, his presence didn't bode anything good. And he was covered in blood. Bad sign. With the last bits of strength, she lifted her Sode no Shirayuki and pointed it at him.
"That's dangerous, ya know?" Gin told her cheerfully and with a swift movement he easily took her zampakutō. "Come, I don't want ya dyin' 'ere on me."
She didn't have the strength to fight him and so she could do nothing when he gently lifted her up and with shumpo quickly made his way somewhere.
"Just hold in there," he told her softly tightening his grip on her.
She was slowly losing her consciousness however the last thing she saw were his eyes.
Full of worry.
When she woke up, she was genuinely surprised to find herself surrounded by her friends. Inoue was healing her, at the moment focusing on her minor cuts for she had already taken care of the most life threatening ones. Next to her she saw concerned faces of Renji, Ichigo and Ishida…
At first Rukia didn't know what was going on, she was at a loss. Not that she complained, quite on the contrary, but she had a hard time believing the surroundings she found herself in. Was it a dream? An illusion? Because it definitely wasn't what she had expected to see after regaining her consciousness (if she would, in the first place). What had happened with Ichimaru?
"What—" she started, knitting her eyebrows but was cut off by Ichigo.
"We WON!" he told her with a wide grin and was immediately joined by the rest in loud and cheerful cries of triumph.
"How? But…" she didn't know what to say to this. And she just couldn't rejoice with them for she still was too confused. Everything was great and all, but where did Ichimaru fit into this? All puzzles had been pieced together, however there was one left that seemed to be from a completely different puzzle set.
"Well, we somehow managed to defeat most of the Arrancars, few fled though," Ichigo started explaining, here and there backed with eager nods of other boys and Inoue. "But then there was a battle with Aizen…" he trailed off, adding to the suspense. "And you wouldn't believe what happened!"
"What?" she whispered hoarsely, not really knowing what to expect.
"Ichimaru," said Renji as if it clarified everything.
Rukia frowned at his ambiguousness, however this one name made her agitated, arising her curiosity to hear the rest of the story, but at the same time she began to feel a little bit edgy. "What about him?"
"He killed him and ran off."
Now that was unexpected! "What?" she asked wanting to make sure she had heard that right.
"Ichimaru. Killed. Aizen," Ichigo said slowly so the meaning of those words could reach her more easily.
Rukia only blinked few times trying to understand the information she had just been told. It wasn't that simple. This made no sense! But— But it was Ichimaru! The Ichimaru! The most heartless, malicious, cruel, spiteful, twisted and sick fox in the whole universe! How could have it happened? Was the world coming to an end?
"No one could believe it," said Ishida seeing her more than evident disbelief. "Aizen too seemed surprised."
"Yeah," added Ichigo. "Everyone was so dumbfounded, no one even started pursuing him."
The petite Shinigami somehow forced herself to accept their words to be true, but there was another thing that perplexed her to no end. Why before losing her consciousness had she seen him of all people? That had had to be some twisted dream, right? A delirium at the verge of the death… Because it couldn't have possibly been as if… No… Just no…
"How… how was I saved?" she asked tentatively preparing herself for another revelation.
"About that…" started Renji but hesitated a little as if he too had a hard time believing what he was about to say. "Well, it seems when Ichimaru ran off he somehow found himself near you. Guess, some human emotions awoke in him and he brought you to Inoue."
"I see…" said Rukia, however she understood absolutely nothing. She furrowed her brows in a deep thought. So it wasn't some kind of a twisted dream… But why would he do that? Hadn't he been running away that time? But if he had taken her to Inoue, then… "Where is he now?"
"He's been transported to a cell," supplied Renji.
"What's going to happen with him?" she asked, unable to shush a small worry that was stroking her heart. Did it mean that he had sacrificed his own freedom to save her life? But why? What was in it for him? Because there just had to be something!
"Don't know, probably a trial…" he guessed. "And then who knows…?" the crimson-haired Shinigami trailed off, but everyone knew that the highest penalty was among one of the most possible verdicts.
Rukia nodded her head slowly, "I see…"
She really was glad to be alive, however that meant she was indebted for a lifetime to a man she absolutely despised.
Thank you for reading! Hope you enjoyed the first part! (＾ε＾)
Until the second part! Cheers!