Title: The persistence of memory
Pairings: Implied Byakuya x Rukia, Senna x Ichigo, past Byakuya x Hisana
Disclaimer: Bleach belongs to Kubo Tite and Viz. Trust me, if I owned the series; there would be a lot more Byakuya x Rukia action. Hell yeah! This non-profit, non-copyright infringing fanfiction belongs to me under international copyright laws and taking it is plagiarism. Don't steal and don't sue. Thank you. *Phantomness bows*
Warnings: Spoilers for the First Bleach Movie and the manga
Notes: This probably takes place a few years after the end of the anime/manga
When the alarm sounded, the Special Forces were the first ones on the scene. The intruder was a frightened-looking girl, with purple hair, long and loose. Her wide eyes were orange. Her clothing was a simple white shift. She had no zanpakutou, no sign marking her as a Shinigami. There was no reason she should have been allowed to enter Seireitei, none at all. Nonetheless, the gates had opened. It was disturbing.
Soi Fon recognized her, and waved the guards some distance back.
"Senna," Her voice was cold.
The girl stared at her. "How do you know my name?"
"Why are you here?"
"I…I don't know." She admitted. "All I remember is saying goodbye to Ichigo." The last was said almost in a whisper.
Had she lost all the memories she was composed of? They had not been her memories to begin with, so it would not be surprising. Nevertheless, she did not belong.
If she had been reincarnated and entered Soul Society, why was she not in Rukongai? Soi Fon did not like the implications.
Or, worse yet, if this slip of a girl still retained her power as the Memory Rosary, it boded ill.
She sent her Lieutenant to inform Captain-Commander Yamamoto of the situation. Senna eyed the gathered Shinigami warily.
Yamamoto made his decision quickly. She would be kept under observation until the Bureau of Information verified her status. In the meantime, as lodging her in the Shinigami barracks would be unfeasible, and letting her wander in Seireitei was foolish, she would be hosted.
Byakuya received the information with distaste. Nevertheless, he obediently conveyed her to his mansion.
This soul reminded him uncomfortable of Hisana, which was quite odd. He shook his head. That was in the past. He had Rukia now, and she was more than her sister had ever been.
Rukia was not sure how she should feel. Certainly, she had found Senna irritating, and her infatuation with Ichigo foolish, but her sacrifice had saved Soul Society. She decided to try and be polite for now.
Oh, and she would contact Ichigo and let him know the good news, too.
Senna sighed as the long-haired man closed the door behind her. She sat down on the bed. It was very soft. He had mentioned that dinner would be served in two hours.
What was she going to do about clothes?
Besides, she didn't want to stay here! She wanted to explore!
Her mind made up, she tiptoed out of the room and looked around. There was no one there. This house was so big!
She wondered what it was hiding!
"WHAT? Senna is alive?"
Rukia held her phone away from her ear. "Yes, Ichigo, she's alive. She's staying at the Kuchiki residence for now."
"Is she all right?" Ichigo demanded. He still had the red ribbon that he had bought for her, a few years ago. "You guys aren't planning to lock her up or anything, are you?"
"Niisama mentioned that she was still under observation, but that's all." She hastily reassured him, knowing that Ichigo could – and would – probably storm Soul Society if he thought she was in trouble.
Honestly, she did not understand how he could have in fallen in love with her, but it was his business. Poor Orihime…
Senna peeked into another room, closing the door. Most of them had been empty and looked exactly like her guest room. How boring…
This room, though, was different. There was a vase with a branch of fresh plum blossoms inside. She saw a neat vanity table, a comb and a brush laid out on it, next to a pile of hairpins. A box was half-open, with several different colored ribbons spilling out. Next to the bed was a pair of sandals.
Who lived here?
Curiously, she peered into the closet, crying out in surprise. There were kimonos there, and light summer yukatas, some plain, but others with beautiful patterns on them. They looked like they would fit too!
She took one out, lavender in color, and held it up to herself, smiling, before she quickly changed into it and twirled around. Beautiful!
After a few minutes, she continued her exploration.
Byakuya glanced up from his desk as he heard footsteps pass by. Who was disturbing him? It didn't sound like Rukia.
His breath caught in his throat, and he almost froze as the girl skipped past his open door. "H-Hisana?"
Quickly, he stood, pushing his papers aside. It was impossible!
Senna skipped down the hall, startled, when she saw the man run after her. "Oh, it's you, Byakuya!"
Her voice, though, shook him out of his reverie. That was not Hisana's voice! He blinked to clear his eyes.
"Who…" He began, and then he noticed her eyes and hair. "Senna."
"Doesn't it look good on me?" She preened.
Byakuya felt rage sear through him, and only with the ease of long practice was he able to push it down. "Take that off right now."
"Why?" She tilted her head to the side. "Is it yours?"
"It belonged to my late wife." He stated coldly. "You have no right to wear her clothes."
She must have been in Hisana's former room. Even Rukia was not allowed in there without his permission, and this, this intruder, this imposter, had!
"Niisama!" Rukia appeared next to him, having sensed the spike in his reiatsu. She did a double-take when she saw Senna.
No wonder Niisama was so furious!
Senna looked back and forth between them.
"Niisama," She put her hand on his arm. "I'll go explain it to her."
Byakuya managed to nod stiffly, before striding off. How foolish! Hisana was dead and she could never come back. He cursed his traitorous heart. It was Rukia he cared for now, and yet…
Why, then, did the thought of Hisana still tug incessantly at his thoughts?
Enough! He could apologize to her later. He only hoped she would accept it.
"Senna," She took a deep breath. "You shouldn't go into other people's rooms without permission."
"No buts," Rukia said firmly. "You are a guest here, and there are rules you have to follow." For a moment, she cursed herself. She sounded exactly like one of the Elders. But she was a Kuchiki, also, and she had the right.
Moreover, she understood, as no one else could, how Byakuya felt.
"Hisana was my sister, and Niisama's late wife." She said firmly. "Seeing you dressed like her hurts him. It brings up those sad memories."
"But memories are important, aren't they?"
"Yes, but Niisama is moving past them to make new ones." Rukia stated. At least, she fervently hoped so. "The tailor will be here tomorrow to make you some clothes. Until then, I can lend you something."
Senna frowned. She liked this kimono…
Nonetheless, something in the Shinigami's tone warned her, so she meekly followed her back to her room.
They were so stuck up!
Dinner that night was conducted in an uncomfortable silence. The only saving grace was a Hell butterfly informing them that Ichigo would be visiting tomorrow. Perhaps he could take Senna off their hands.
Senna liked the food though, as it was all new to her. She ate some of everything and giggled. Rukia could see Byakuya's eye twitching every so often, and he eventually left in the middle of the meal.
She soon followed.
That night, Byakuya visited Rukia's room.
She moved from her position on the bed so he could sit next to her. "Niisama…"
"I… apologize." He finally said.
She gazed up into his eyes. "Niisama, I…"
"I am sorry." The Captain swallowed, before beginning his next words. "I promised to care for you, and yet I could not."
Rukia shook her head. "Niisama, it is not your fault."
Byakuya looked stunned. "But I failed."
"I know that Hisana Neesama will always have a part of your heart." She admitted. "I accept it, and I still love you."
For many moments, he was speechless, before he stiffly drew her into his arms. They stayed that way for a long time, letting the silence speak for them.
That night, neither of them was alone.
Ichigo showed up at lunch the next day. Senna eagerly ran to meet him, and they embraced in the courtyard. Byakuya allowed himself a small, satisfied smile.
The look on the substitute Shinigami's face when he gave him his blessing was priceless.
Of course he would be taking Senna back to the real world with him!
… Though, the fact that Mayuri and Nemu would be accompanying them keep an eye on the former Memory Rosary was just a tad difficult for Ichigo to swallow.
He would protect her from the mad scientist though!
Rukia slipped her hand into his as they watched the group leave.
Byakuya glanced down at her, and felt his burden lightening. Yes…
I honestly hated and despised Senna the first two times I watched the Bleach movie. However, I didn't want my first fanfic to be pure character-bashing so…
She is like a baby and knows nothing about how humans live. At least, that's how I perceived it.
Also, I don't like Hisana either. Is there a possibility that after she died in Soul Society, Senna got her memories? Nah…
I hope the characters weren't too OOC!