Title – Open Your Eyes

Disclaimer – All Bleach characters belong to Tite Kubo.

Summary – Set five years from the Bleach starting point. The Kuchiki family are arranging for Byakuya and Rukia to wed. Bya/Ruk

Author's Note – This is my first Byakuya/Rukia story. I hope it turns out well! I am a fan of Ichigo/Rukia but lately watching the Zanpaktu arc I've been wondering…

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Everyday was the same as it was the day before in Seireitei. The Winter War has passed on like a bad case of the flu, with Ichigo being the main helper in winning the war. Commander Shigekuni Yamamoto-Genryusai was so pleased with Ichigo's strength he ignored Ichigo's 'hollow' and appointed Ichigo the captain position for the fifth squad. Ichigo, at the time seventeen and freshly out of school eagerly took the position so long as he has the opportunity to visit his family regularly.

His request was granted. After telling his family the truth, shocking that his father knew all along, they decided to let Kon take care of his body while away. It was like Ichigo was away for college, except to everyone else, 'Ichigo' was really there.

Shortly after Ichigo became captain Rukia was awarded Vice Captain position for the thirteenth squad for her bravery in the war.

Five years have passed since then, and with Ichigo now twenty and maturing everything was falling into a boring steady pace, every single day…

Beep Beep! Rukia's fist connected with the button of her alarm clock. Sure she loved trinkets from the real world but she also hated them… especially when they woke her up. She groaned and pulled her sheets over her shoulders and fell back into her sweet slumber. She had a giant king sized bed with unbelievable fluffy comforters and pillows compliments again, from the real world. Byakuya seemed to be so angry with her … 'modernized' room but shortly after she caught him inspecting her bed he asked for the same in his room.

Knock, Knock!

"Ugh… what is it now?!" Rukia grumbled angrily into her pillow.

"Rukia-sama? Rukia-sama?"

Rukia pouted and sighed. She over slept this morning and was about to be late to breakfast. The Elders hated that. Especially if they found out she was out partying with Ichigo and Renji last night. How many beers had she had? Too many to count…

She pulled the sheets off of her and frowned, she threw up on her floor and she had no time to clean it up.

"Rukia-sama?"

"Coming!"

As quickly as she could she ran cold water over her face and brushed her hair. Once she was freshened up and awake she was satisfied and walked into her room avoiding the puke to put on freshly cleaned hakama robes and threw a towel over her throw up before leaving the room.

She ignored the startled maid and quickly ran down the stairs to join everyone for breakfast hoping she wasn't the last one.

But that was too much to hope for, everyone's glares were glued to her.

"It must be a Kuchiki gene passed from generation to generation for that glare, but I am fortunate enough to have mastered it." Rukia said taking her usual seat across from Byakuya at the end of the long table. Byakuya smirked slightly, after years of being submissive to the Kuchiki family Rukia finally broke out of her timid shell and became herself. She was outspoken and saucy. Once his terrible grandmother tried to force Rukia in a dressy kimono which ended up with Rukia going out to battle a hollow and somehow it ate her expensive kimono. The elders stopped dressing her up once they realized that everything they put on her either gets dirty or destroyed.

Rukia just wasn't that submissive, 'yes sir,' girl anymore. She was polite to her family still thankful for all that they do for her, but very outspoken, something the Kuchiki have not witnessed before. But she was well loved by the family, they just looked at her as a child filled with trouble and rebellion, not a soon to be Head of the Kuchiki family like Byakuya. That was all very fine for Rukia. She'd be caught dead if she had to be Head of the Kuchiki.

Very rarely did everyone stay at the mansion for long but they usually came for breakfast, never for dinner. It was usually just Byakuya and Rukia and the servants. It was lonely most of the times. And yet… it was busy.

There were hundreds of times when Byakuya would wander the halls and catch Yachiru waltzing around the halls of his manor eating candy and singing some weird song. Why or how she got in he wasn't sure… Rukia claims to never see her though, and that is what made him believe they were plotting something.

Rukia just called him paranoid and walked off.

"You came in late again Rukia-sama." Ginrei Kuchiki said sipping his tea.

Rukia froze with the fork of rice just inches from her mouth. How did he know?

"I saw you sneak in when I was taking a walk." As if he heard her question. Sometimes Byakuya's grandfather would stay in the mansion. It was not unusual. The old man was fond of Byakuya and was the one to mainly visit.

"I … was busy at my division." She said chewing her food quickly, "You know how things are with Vice Captains and paperwork…"

Ginrei just nodded, but he knew Rukia came home drunk again. He told Byakuya to have a talk with her, but he didn't want to bring it up in front of everyone, that would just hurt and embarrass the youngest Kuchiki.

Rukia wanted to shovel the food into her mouth and run for it but she knew that the last time she did that, she had to stay after and have a lesson on table eating manners. So instead she ate slowly and properly until everyone began leaving one by one.

"Have something to say too?" Rukia asked looking up to meet grey eyes.

"You were drunk again."

Rukia shrugged her eyebrow in that arrogant way that really got under his skin, "I'm not a drunk."

"I never said you were."

"You imply it every time, 'If being a shinigami forces you to drink….' 'there are better outlets then alcohol' 'Captain Ukitake should never have promoted you'."

"I get it." He cuts her off growing impatient, he hated when she was right, "Just use your head when coming in that late." He got up and left the table, and swung around at the doorway he called back, "stop by my office tonight so I can make sure you get home tonight."

She swung around ready to retort some witty comment about not being a child but he was gone. "Damn it!"

Lately she has been skipping out on going home and hanging out with Ichigo and Renji. Usually she handles getting home fine but sometimes things get a little complicated like the second time Rukia came home intoxicated. She stumbled into Byakuya's Koi pond and began screaming frantically about drowning.

Byakuya, luckily, was the only one there that night and stood by the pond shaking his head in shame. Her screams woke him up, startled to no end, and rushed out here thinking somebody was attacking his sister. All without showing any emotion on his stoic face.

"You do realize that it's only three feet deep?" He said calmly almost with a roll of his eyes.

But Rukia was too busy thrashing around and screaming scaring his poor fish to death in a corner far away from the threatening intruder.

Byakuya took pity on her since his pond was three feet deep and she was barely under five feet. He scooped her up and helped her stand. Some gratitude he got. She threw up on him and passed out. The next morning she had to clean the whole fish pond and worst of all, he showed up to her division to take her home. Somebody had to make sure she got home instead of partying.

Rukia was never a drinker, always down to business and serious, but something inside her has woken up. She was happy, for once in her life Rukia Kuchiki was happy. She had her two best friends by her side and her brother was finally treating her like a normal human being. Well as much as a dead girl can feel alive. So she stopped worrying and just had fun with her friends, like the old times.

She even stopped worrying about being respectful to the Kuchiki family. She was part of the family too! And she just wasn't Byakuya. She was Rukia Kuchiki, hot headed, gonna-kick-your-ass, kind of girl.

She finished her breakfast and skipped off to the fifth division making her morning greetings to Ichigo. Renji always had a habit of needing to drop stuff off at her division so she never stopped by, that and her brother would catch on and scold her.

Ichigo has grown into a fine man, he was still lean and tall but his shoulders were broader. He still looked like… Ichigo but he was taller and a bit filled out.

He was busy filling out paperwork and barely glanced up as she waltzed into his office.

"Good morning Ichigo."

Ichigo smirked, she never called him Captain Kurosaki unless they were in front of other captains. She just loved messing with him.

"Hey Rukia. Get home all right?"

"I got caught again."

He set his brush down and looked up at her, "Damn… I thought leaving you at the entrance you'd be okay."

"Oh I was, but Grandfather caught me as he was taking a walk at an ungodly hour."

"Damn…Sorry."

"Oh it's okay, I'm not in trouble I just can't go out tonight." Rukia said smirking and taking a seat on his desk even though a chair sat just two feet away from her.

Ichigo sat back and examined her, she hasn't changed much. She was still small and petite no taller then she was five years ago. But she was still sexy as hell.

Yes Ichigo desired for Rukia, she was a spit fire and he wanted her. They tried dating when he was sixteen, but it wasn't there. It ended after two years of desperately trying to summon the romance. The dating stuff was never an excitement for them. The sex was great, they had the most wonderful sex anyone could imagine, but that was all. Being friends was so much more fulfilling for them. They loved each other dearly, but it just wasn't a romantic love. It made them feel good that they at least tried.

Ichigo still lusted after her since she was his first everything. She taught him everything he needed to know and for that, he always had a special bond with her. He wasn't dating anyone right now, too busy with his captain's duties, so when Rukia and he get so frustrated and needed release they would give each other the passion they needed.

It was a little thing that they set up and worked well. Best friends with sexual benefits but the romance stayed out. And it worked, amazingly well.

"Well at least I can get some sleep…" He shrugged his shoulders. His eyes widened slightly in realization and he leant down to pick up a stack of papers, "Are you going to see your brother today?"

"I was going to stop by after I get off why?"

Ichigo handed the papers to her, "These came in, but they are for him not me. Oh! And these need to be filled out by your division, I filled out my portion, they just need to be reviewed and signed by you." He said handing another stack to her.

She gave him a sarcastic smile and stood up, "Yes Captain, get right on it!" She turned to leave.

"Hey!" Ichigo called out.

"Yes?" She asked turning around smiling innocently at him.

Ichigo picked up her white cell phone with Chappy the Bunny dangling from the phone, "You forgot this last night. Byakuya sent you a love text." Ichigo winked.

Rukia huffed and grabbed her cell phone, "Suck it Ichigo."

"I can't, you're grounded!" Ichigo laughed and went back to paperwork as Rukia left and juggled the stacks of papers and cell phone. She flipped it open and as Ichigo said Byakuya had sent her a text.

'Where are you?'

Lately that was how they communicated while away. Every Soul Reaper had a cell phone with a soul pager inside. It ran on Rietsu around the place. So sending texting messages was the easiest way to send messages to each other while far away. That and Byakuya said he looked ridiculous talking on a cell phone.

Rukia smirked with the image of Byakuya chatting on his cell as she walked right over to the sixth division. She was running late, but her captain would understand once she explained she was doing errands. He was very relaxed and understanding. In fact, just like Kaien, she as the vice captain ran most of things in the squad.

"Hey Rukia!" Renji called from his spot training Kido to younger squad members. Rukia smirked and waved, poor guys… their going to suck at Kido. Byakuya must not like those members.

She weaved her way through the halls of the main building in the sixth division and knocked on Captain Kuchiki's door.

"Enter."

Rukia stepped in and set the papers down on his desk, "Why good morning Captain Kuchiki."

"Rukia why aren't you at your division?" He asked in his bored deep voice.

"I … was asked to send these to you." She lied.

But Byakuya knew better, he glanced at the papers and lifted an eyebrow, "Then why do they say from the fifth division?"

"I um… stopped by to say hello."

Byakuya set the documents on top of a small stack and looked up at her, "You shouldn't neglect your duties for him."

Byakuya hated Ichigo even now. He has slowly started to accept him, but he still hated the Orange haired kid. Especially last year he was on his way to Ukitake's Squad and needed to drop off some documents to the fifth squad. He knocked on Captain Kurosaki's door, but apparently it was too quiet because he opened the door ready to just leave the papers on his desk when over on the right on Kurosaki's couch was Rukia with her eyes filled with terror at getting caught and her lips swollen red and tousled hair. Ichigo was above her his lips dangerously low on her neck biting and nipping her pale skin, and his hands shoved in her robes groping her chest.

Oh he was livid. He didn't attack the younger captain, but oh how he wanted too. Instead Rukia shoved Ichigo off of her and calmly left the room. Byakuya gave Ichigo the most deadliest glares he has ever seen and since then Ichigo has attempted to keep his hands off Rukia at work.

Rukia swore up and down that she does not have a relationship with Kurosaki and that it was the only time they have ever been intimate since they dated years ago. Byakuya scared the shit out of Ichigo from ever touching her again. Of course that was all lies, but she couldn't exactly tell him about their wild sex when they weren't even dating.

"I'm not, I just wanted to pick up my phone." Again she lied. She had no clue she left it.

"Hm, you may go. Don't forget to meet me here tonight."

Rukia nodded and left. Sometimes her brother was just scary…

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Meetings with the Kuchiki Elders were so foreboding not even a cockroach wanted to be caught in this thick tension.

Five men and two women sat around a round table discussing the Kuchiki ways and updates. Trivial matters, matters that Shinigami Squads don't worry about. Byakuya never attended these meetings. Although he is the Head of Kuchiki he is still not an Elder and is only given information from one of the Elders, mainly his Grandfather.

"The Nakamura Family has just married off their eldest daughter." Kida Kuchiki added pushing a scroll towards the Eldest Kuchiki.

"Married?! But… Byakuya was to marry her!" Ginrei started in shock and rage.

"True… but Byakuya showed no interest in her and even went as bold to tell her lack in Shinigami knowledge would make her a horrible useless wife." Another Kuchiki elder added.

"Well… there are others in the Nakamura family." Suggested another.

Kida laughed out loud. Something the Kuchiki do not do. "The oldest was only ten years younger then Byakuya and the others are males. The only other female is only an infant!"

Realization hit them hard. This was going to be hard to marry Byakuya off to a noble. The Noble families are collapsing fast and the families that did have a suitable woman was either too old or too young.

Byakuya wasn't old, he was far from in. in fact, compared to a man in the real world Byakuya would probably be around his early twenties but he was still getting to that age where a wife was indeed needed, especially if he was to be Head of the Kuchiki.

When he first married he was far too young, but they aloud it, knowing right away that Hisana was sick and wouldn't last long.

"Okay, let's span out and do some research on finding a suitable wife for Byakuya. Meeting settled, meet back here same time next week."

"Pft, yeah so long as Byakuya doesn't insult another girl."

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The end of shift came and Rukia sat inside of Byakuya's office waiting for him to finish his last documents. Renji long since left for the day giving Rukia a wink and wave as he left with his new girlfriend, Sage, from the third squad.

"I can go home now… do I have to wait?" Rukia muttered growing impatient. She stopped following him around years ago while he tended to his Kuchiki duties and Captain duties by talking to the other captains or Noble families.

She found it, bleak and boring. In the beginning he brought her along, teaching her the ways of a Kuchiki, but now she just didn't care. Again, Rukia was growing into her own person.

"I'm done." He stated and set his papers in neat stacks on his desk. She wanted to tease him about being anal, but what is so wrong about knowing where shit is? Her captain scrambles all day trying to find a damn paper clip, where as her brother took a second to open his desk and find an organizer filled with miscellaneous stuff like paper clips.

He stood up and aloud Rukia to step out first while he followed along side by side.

The walk was nice and quiet. Byakuya may have been warming up to her after years of him ignoring her, but he was still the same man. Quiet and reserved.

She smiled thinking back to one night she came back from a mission and it was pouring rain. She got a nasty cut on her belly. Not bad enough to where she needed to go to the fourth division but bad enough to where it could get infected. She came home and found that Byakuya was still on his mission, she was alone and she was too weak for Kido. So she fell on the floor next to the fire and wrapped herself up in blankets and hoped she could fight off infection.

The next day she had a horrible fever and couldn't move. Luckily Ginrei Grandfather came in and caught Rukia. He quickly rushed over and healed her wound with what little Kido he had. As he laid with her, helping her through her fever he told her stories about how Byakuya used to be. A hot headed, brash, smart mouthed, teenager. He got worked up so quickly and could even be violent and had a foul mouth. Rukia didn't believe it at all. But why would Grandfather Ginrei lie to her? She held Byakuya's secret as a reminder that he was indeed human.

Ginrei admitted that Byakuya became worse when Hisana died. And even worse when Rukia came to live in the mansion, but as Rukia proved to be such a different person from Hisana, something inside Byakuya changed, something they haven't seen in a long time.

Which is why the Kuchiki Elders have come to like Rukia. She was something special, especially since she was changing Byakuya for the better.

"Tomorrow is your free day?" Byakuya asked.

Rukia nodded fearing he would ask her to do something that took up her whole day. He did that often, just to be an asshole and keep her away from Ichigo and Renji.

"What are you planning on doing?"

"Going home to clean up the throw up on my floor." She shouldn't have said that, but she was cranky at being walked home.

"When are you going to stop this ridiculous behavior Rukia?"

"If you haven't noticed, every single person in Seireitei go out at night to drink beers because that's what we live for. We fight during the day and go home to nothing. If we are lucky we have families but most of us thrive off of passion and alcohol."

He didn't know what to say… because she was right. He just didn't want to accept that his sister was just like everyone else. Depressed and angry.

"Rukia…"

"Look… I don't have a drinking problem, in fact I enjoy just being out in Rukongai again. I love laughing with and joking with Ichigo, Renji, Hisagi, Matsumoto, and all the rest! These guys just… go with it. We talk and drink but I don't think we realize how much we drink until it is too late. It's not a drinking problem." She explained cutting him off promptly.

They finally made it to the Kuchiki mansion and Byakuya led Rukia into the main halls.

"Go wash up and meet up for dinner." He said quietly heading up the stairs himself.

Rukia did as told, mainly because the sweat and grime on her body was disgusting. She scrubbed her skin clean and washed her hair. Once she was done she put on a purple flower kimono and tied her hair up in a bun with her front hair pieces falling out around her face.

When she got downstairs Byakuya was already there freshly cleaned and hair dried and clipped in his kenseikan. Damn… how does he do it?

She sat down in their usual spot, across from each other at the end of the table and glanced at the food, pineapple, bell pepper chicken on top of rice. It looked delicious.

They both dug in and had small talk, not at all discussing their earlier discussion. There was nothing to say, Byakuya was not like her. He would rather stay at home reading or staring at his fish then socialize. But Rukia needed to be out and about surrounded by people in order to keep her sane and happy.

They were so opposite, and yet they both connected in such odd ways.

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What do you guys think? This is my first Byakuya/Rukia fic so I am pretty excited! If you think Byakuya and Rukia are out of character, keep in mind that it has been five years for them to catch up on how they behave with each other. Review and let me know how you like this so far!