Disclaimer- I don't own BLEACH, just Ai, Manami, Shizuko and a few others.

Special Thanks!!! ToIllegitimi- I know you didn't want this but you deserve this! She is my muse!

*RyokoSon- My dearest editor! ^^!


11. Anger

I was aware that emptying the entire contents of the syringe into the IV was a bit overkill, but I couldn't help myself. I was tired and angry. Between tossing in bed and shuffling through papers, in attempt to get my mind off of Manami, I got, perhaps, an hour of sleep. Now I was trying to run experiments and my mind was still stuck her. Women were entirely too much trouble and so distracting they could ruin a man's life. Not that many considered me an actual man, but I could prove them wrong if I ever cared to.

My mind kept running over the things Ukitake had said to me the night before.

"Manami is delicate."

"She deserves a patient man."

"You could be good for each other."

Was that his way of saying he approved? Did he honestly believe I gave a damn how he felt about my relationship, or whatever it was, I had with Manami? I was more than aware she was delicate. I knew she needed and deserved a patient man that could understand what it meant to be alone, regarded as a freak for things that were sometimes beyond one's control. I could be that guy. Couldn't I? Maybe. I could sure as hell try.

Manami hadn't come back last night. She better have gotten that arm looked at. Damn it. What was I supposed to do? Go after her? I had stopped by her house after I left Ukitake's and she hadn't been there. I had no idea where else to look, so I had to worry all night as to whether or not she was ok. I could smell her on my sheets. It was pathetic perhaps, but it was a little bit of a comfort to bury my face in her scent and think of what we had shared the night before. It helped to assure me we had indeed been together. That same mysterious floral scent of her had me captivated. My mind was already planning what I would do when I got a free moment. Walk to my room and find her intoxicating aroma. So distinctly feminine. So distinctly Manami.

Hearing a moan I looked down to see blood spilling from the ear of the man I had on the table. "Shit. Well, that'll leave some lasting damage." I turned away. And washed my hands. "Nemu! Come clean this mess up! I'm going out. I want a full report on this one's condition when I return."

I barely noticed her entering the room. "Yes sir." I left without a second thought. There was an issue that needed to be addressed and it was going to be addressed and taken care of if I had to kill someone.

I fully believe I sulked the entire way to the fifth division. My mind on one thing only. I was bound and determined to put this away. I wasn't sure that I would be able to control myself once I got a look at the men that had scarred Manami's perfect skin. Entering the building I knew held Byakuya's office, I didn't so much as spare his lieutenant a glance, but went straight to knock his office door.

"Yes?" his voice sound through the door. I entered and noticed him stiffen when our eyes met. He looked much more than just displeased to see me. I knew he was thinking back on the day before and I couldn't help but wonder what he thought about the events."Captain Kurotsuchi, please sit."

"Yesterday was absolutely ridiculous." I spoke out; I was going to tell him exactly what I thought. "Your ward caused many problems." The glance he shot me was one that had my eyebrows going up. He was protective of that little whore? That could turn out to be more than interesting. However, I had bigger fish to fry at that moment."But that's not why I am here; I'm looking for four of your men. Two of which are named Yana and Reito."

Confusion showed on his face, but he seemed to take it in stride. "The names of the other two?"

"I have no idea, but they are more than likely always together. Sound familiar?"

He seemed to be thinking hard about something like he was trying to solve some type of puzzle, "Maybe. Why?"

My eyes narrowed. This was something Manami had trusted me with. I wasn't going to ruin that trust just to appease my anger. "I won't tell you that, but understand that I will not leave here until I have spoken with them."

"That is a bold statement." I heard the barely masked anger, could see it in his eyes. I was in just the type of mood that if he wished to argue, I just might placate him. "But Reito and Yana are about to leave on a routine patrol of the Rukongai and I don't really have time to-"

Damn it. Well, it could have been worse. They could already be in the Rukongai. "Actually this involves that group and the Rukongai. In the long run, it would be better for many if you brought them here. Now."

He leaned forward. I was expecting him to threaten me to tell me but he never spoke. What was he thinking? He was trying to solve why I was there. What I could possibly want with his men. I wasn't going to budge. Perhaps he would be smart enough to infer what was going on when I faced the worms that had hurt Manami.

"Fine." He finally spoke before calling for his lieutenant.

"Yes Captain?" he asked sticking his head in. I to hold myself back from making a smart comment about how he already knew what his captain wanted, as his ear had pressed against the door.

"Bring me the group we had in here yesterday. All four of them."

"Yes sir." He was gone in a flash.

We fell into silence then. I was beginning to get anxious about having to sit in the same room as those low lives. I noticed Byakuya's thoughts drift somewhere else. He was staring out the window and his posture was lax, well lax for a person like him. Something told me he was thinking of Ai and for some reason it made me sick. Why was it that Ai had a man with as much culture and refinement as Byakuya Kuchiki stuck on her, but Manami just got me? Well, she also had Ukitake. I couldn't forget that. He had said so last night. My thoughts had me on edge and I couldn't deal with that. Not when I was about to deal with something so volatile. I decided to distract myself.

"Daydreaming?" It dragged him back to reality. I saw the annoyance on his face, but it was exactly what I had planned. A distraction.

"No," he answered. It was a little entertaining to watch him attempt to mask his annoyance. "Just considering what you could possibly want with four men from my squad."

When I shook my head he raised a brow.

"It's not my place to release details, but I'm sure you're smart enough to infer." I gave him a hint. I knew it had be obvious there was something between Manami and me.

He was unable to mask his curiosity then. "It's my squad."

"The information I have is enough to make it business of all the Seireitei." And I was going to.

I noticed the knock at the door had him grinding his teeth. "Come in." As they filed in I had to physically hold myself back from making all the things I wished to do to those men reality. "Sit." Byakuya ordered. "It seems that Captain Kurotsuchi has something to say to all of you…"

I stood, knowing how important it was to make myself above them in everyway possible so that they understood who was in charge. I noticed the blonde looked highly annoyed.

Counting to keep myself calm, I decided to test the waters. "I have been enlightened, as of late, about the activities the four of you like to partake in when you are on patrol."

I noticed the shock and recognition register in the eyes of all them. However, blonde seemed to cover his faster.

"What do you mean by that?" he questioned inclining his head.

I narrowed my eyes and decided to cut right to the chase."If I ever hear of you taking advantage of your place again, all four of you will end up as insects on my lab table. You have no right to take advantage of a woman. If she doesn't want your hands on her then they shouldn't be on her."

"I'm afraid you have been misinformed." The blonde's face showed nothing. He must have been Reito, as the others kept glancing at him as if to gauge his reaction.

"Be that as it may, this accusation will not be taken lightly. Until it is looked into completely, you will all be on duty around here. If any one of you so much as looks at someone the wrong way, you'll all be behind bars. Am I understood?" It was quite something to see the great Byakuya Kuchiki barely able to get a hold on his anger. When they all mumbled a 'yes sir' he spit, "Get out. Lieutenant Abarai, find replacements for the Rukongai patrol." A faint 'yes sir' drifted in from the other room as the men shuffled out. Anger boiled under the surface of his composed face. I wanted to see him crack. I wanted to know just how deeply his feelings ran for Ai. Would that be disgustingly poetic? The lowly whore and the noble. He glared at me. "I'll be in touch with you."

Having nothing else to say, I simply nodded and stood. What I had set out to do there was done. Now I just had to sit and wait for justice to come. That would prove challenging. As a scientist, I knew the importance of patience; how much could ride on just waiting for results to come. However, in this situation, I wanted immediate satisfaction. I wanted to see those imbeciles burn for the things they had done to Manami.

Stepping out into the streets of the Seireitei, my new mission came to the forefront of my mind. Locate Manami. I hadn't so much as gotten a message of where she was and that made it even worse. If I only knew where she was I would have less cause to worry, but after yesterday's events for all I knew she was dead.

So, first I would stop by her house. I went straight there, the only thing I had on my mind was her. What would I do if something had happened? Would I be able to just go back to the way things had been before her? I had to change my track of mind and began to go over lists in my head. Lists of anything and everything, I just had to get my mind off of her.

I knocked on her door. No answer. I had to make myself swallow the lump that formed in my throat. She was home…Where the hell else would she be? I tried opening the door and it wouldn't budge. At least she locked her doors…

I had another option. Shizuko Fon. Those two had seemed to grow close. Maybe she was there. I made it to her home in under a minute. I needed to find Manami. Just see her face. I rapped on the newest captain's door. When the tiny lieutenant of the 11th division answered I wasn't that surprised.

"Is Manami here?" I tried my best to keep my voice calm.

"Nope! Just me and Shizzy!" she chirped, "Beauty is great friends with featherhead! Go check there!"

Everything stopped. Would she have stayed with another man???


Wow………………………………………

I know it took me FOREVER to update, but hey! Sometime life makes things difficult………

ALSO: I have an announcement

I am pregnant!

……so updating could be crazy for a while……

BTW!!!

Please check out Majestic Harlot! Its Ai's story with Byakuya!

OR

Take a look-see and Tainted Innocence! The romance between Shizuko and Kenpachi!

BTW (again): Reviews really help keep me motivated…

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