Revamped, redone, rewritten and reposted.
Disclaimer, the one and only; Shiny does not own Bleach, nor get anything from writing this except perverse amusement.
Welcome, one and all, to the Rosa revamp project. This story was originally written with no real plot in mind other than a romance story. I have concocted a plot for this now, and present to you the Rosa Revamp project!
The chapters haven't changed so much as rewritten and elaborated on.
I hope you enjoy!
Rosa Rubicondior, Lilio Candidior
Redder than the rose, Whiter than the lily
chi no you ni akaku
Red like blood
hone no you ni shiroku
White like bone
kodoku no you ni akaku
Red like solitude
chinmoku no you ni shiroku
White like silence
kemono no shinkei no you ni akaku
Red like the beastly instinct
kami no shinzou no you ni shiroku
White like a god's heart
tokedasu zouo no you ni akaku
Red like thawing hatred
itetsuku shoutan no you ni shiroku
White like a frozen, pained cry
yoru wo hamu kage no you ni akaku
Red like the night's hungry shadows
tsuki wo inuku toiki no you ni
So shooting through the moon in a sigh is like
shiroku kagayaki, akaku chiru
radiant white, scattered red
It was simple in authority, a command by all rights. The few remaining attendants fled the rear porch that encircled the gardens around the Kuchiki mansion. He sat on the edge of the terrace, legs crossed and hands in his lap. His captain's haori was folded neatly by his side, his scarf sitting atop of it. His fingerless gloves were piled atop of his tabi and waraji.
Rukia picked her way to her adoptive brother, watching as he turned his head to her. She almost gasped when she saw him hold his hand out for hers. Instead, a small smile tugged at the corner of her lips. She slid her smaller hand into his, marvelling at the silk-like smoothness of his larger hands as compared to her callused ones. She allowed him to guide her to sit next to him, closer than he usually allowed others but not quite touching. She could smell his scent, something light and masculine, yet undeniably sweet and beautiful just like cherry blossoms.
"You called, Nii-sama?" she asked him.
She had steadily been testing the waters between them since Hueco Mundo. Ever since he came for her in the Hollow realm, he had been oddly affectionate towards her. After almost a century of being treated like an attendant, like she barely existed to him, he was slowly starting to open up to her. She had always wondered why he went through the trouble of adopting her into the clan where he barely even looked at her. Then she learnt about Hisana, her sister, his late wife.
She was the one 'mistake' he was permitted by the clan. The council of the Kuchiki clan, the shadow rulers of the clan, allowed his marriage to her commoner sister under the proviso that he followed all rules from that point onwards. Kuchiki's, by nature, were not warm creatures. They did not break rules, they did not disobey orders, they did not give affectionate gestures, and they did not smile. So, Rukia wondered what had gone so terribly wrong for Byakuya to have been smiling at her, subtle as it was.
"Nii-sama?" she tried again, much softer and with more abandon.
Byakuya gave her a small, rare yet weary smile. Rukia felt her heart hammer in her chest, threatening to burst out at any moment. Something was wrong. The smiles that he gifted her, rare as they were, had a small tinge of happiness and sadness to them. Something was wrong. But this smile he gave her, small and subtle and weary, was completely different.
It was heartbreaking
Her mind began to race, her heart pounding almost painfully against her ribcage. What had happened? She had only been back in the Seireitei, in Soul Society, for barely a full day. Most of that was spent reporting to Ukitake-Taicho of her findings, or lake thereof, in Karakura town for the last three months. In the wake of the war against Aizen, there wasn't very much in the way of serious attacks.
The real reason she had been sent there was because the Sexta Espada, Grimmjow Jaegarjacques, sole survivor of the Winter war, was regularly seen in Karakura. As it turned out, the Espada was there for a mixture of fighting and food. Apparently, the loser of their bouts had to shout the other lunch.
Ichigo was graduating in a month, and she had plotted with Urahara to throw a party for him and their friends. Ishida received a full scholarship into a prestigious medical school to take over his father's position as hospital director. Inoue was going to cooking school, much to the joy of her friends. Sado was working to open a dojo to teach the local kids to defend themselves.
And Ichigo, he was going to take over his father's clinic.
"Nii-sama? Byakuya…" she tried to say.
The words were getting caught in her throat as she tried to get them out. Her eyes widened as he shook his head, silently asking for a moment. He averted his gaze, trying desperately to avoid the crushing blue depths of Rukia's eyes. His grey-violet-blue eyes widened slightly as he felt a small hand grasp the sleeve of his shihakusho. He turned his head to meet her big blue eyes, feeling the ice that cased his heart begin to melt.
He swallowed, feeling completely out of his element. He was still new to the whole external emotional display, and it didn't help what he had to say. He trailed his hand up to hers, grasping his hand over it as her other hand clung to his sleeve of his kosode as well. Tears began to well in her bug eyes, the storm-tossed blue depths glazing over. She made a little moaning-pleading noise and leaned her head against his bicep.
"Please, Byakuya-Nii, what happened?" she asked.
She raised her head to look at him. All the worse scenarios were running through her head. What if something happened to her friends? What if someone was hurt, or worse, dead? It had to be the latter. Nothing else could make Byakuya wrap his arm around her so awkwardly.
"Rukia. It's Abarai. He…"
Rukia stopped breathing.