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 in hopes for an heir. 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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"But I do not understand." Rukia rolled her eyes at her rather… thick headed friend Renji. She had already explained to him four times about the circumstances this wedding held. Byakuya did not force her, nor did she force him, nor were they in love. This was simply an act of duty for the Kuchiki Clan.

"Renji… as I have told Ichigo… nothing will change, I will marry Byakuya and hopefully I will not be restricted in where I go and we can still do things normally. Going for drinks might not be appropriate… but perhaps we can limit it only too indoors."

A large breeze whipped past them and Rukia shuddered involuntarily, and suddenly she felt uncomfortable… as if someone was watching her. It was very possible, Rukia met up with Renji at the sixth division and since he was due for lunch they walked out into the fields of the sixth division and sat down eating some food where Rukia dropped the bomb. They were in the middle of a grass field, in plain view of the main building of the Sixth Division and training grounds.

Out of all the divisions, she had to admit, the sixth division was the beautiful in all of Seireitei. Green grass covered most of the lands and flower beds and trees lined the walkways. The sixth Division is supposed to be held of calm and selective shinigami's, they were to hold their temper and act accordingly. They were, Rukia thought, the ones to send out for showing off when demonstrating a shinigami. The sixth division weren't anything like her brother, but they were amazingly well mannered in every way and perhaps with years of practiced training they too could be like Byakuya Kuchiki.

… On second thought… nobody could be as zombie like as Byakuya. And to think he was going to be her future husband.

"Rukia…" Renji reached up to brush her hair back. He would do this sometimes, especially when they were younger, when the feelings they had for each other were newly forming romantic feelings, "Why do you do this?" He spoke quietly.

"I have never married Byakuya, Renji." She teased lightly but deep down she knew what he meant.

"Why do you let them pull your reigns? The girl I met in Rukongai would spit on any person attempting to control her and yet… here you are bowing to the Kuchiki's every needs. Do you understand what you are getting yourself into?" Renji cared for her, even now he still held a special place for her in his heart but he is in love with someone else now. Rukia has become a real sister to him instead of the romantic feelings he once harbored years ago.

"Renji… I will be forced to marry outside of the family if Byakuya wouldn't have agreed to take me as his bride."

"Why don't you run away? Leave the family and never look back. Hell living on your own is a hell of a lot better then being forced to marry." He said taking a bite of his noodles.

Rukia sighed, she thought of it yes… but she couldn't, not after all that the Kuchiki have given her. And especially not after how close Byakuya and she have become. Before she would have left without a second thought for how cold she felt constantly in that mansion. Nobody was ever there to make her feel welcome, she felt like an unwelcome guest every second she spent there. But that was years ago, Rukia had shown them all that she was not her sister Hisana and she was worthy of more then just sweet 'thank yous' and 'I am terribly sorry'.

"Run away after all the Kuchiki have given me? A home? A family? Clothes? Food? They even placed me in Captain Ukitake's squad! I can't abandon them. In the beginning I would have run away for the way they treated me but now… I feel as though I really owe them and if all they want is a son then … I am happy to oblige as scary as that sounds."

Renji snorted.

"What?!"

"Nothing…" He looked at her seriousness written over his features, "I just can't picture you being a mom, and I really can't picture Captain Kuchiki a dad. And I really can't picture you guys doing the do!"

To be honest Rukia couldn't either she thought as she blushed. Facing reality and knowing that someday she would have to bear Byakuya's children was a terrifying thought. A lot of sake would have to be consumed to relax her.

"It will be years until we get to that point, for now I am going to take baby step by baby step. I still haven't told Byakuya of my decision."

"What?! Hah… Rukia what if he denies you." He laughed taking a sip of his water.

"Deny me? It is possible… but it would make it an ugly situation. I will be forced to wed within another family and he will be forced to marry someone else. To be honest… it is convenient being married to him."

"You are strange Rukia. I have to go back now, but hey…" he stood up and helped Rukia up, "I know that your sense of duty is the only thing on your mind right now so there is no changing your mind but… don't let them change you. Captain Kuchiki will take care of you, but he can't protect your from his family." He reached down and hugged her close and her resolve was breaking. She was so strong earlier explaining everything with a sense of humor and now… Renji's words struck home.

'Captain Kuchiki will take care of you, but he can't protect you from his family.' Oh how true that was.

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Byakuya watched on with fascination at how Rukia acted so easily with his lieutenant. She was getting better, but mostly she acted formal in front of him. He wondered briefly if something was going on with them, especially when that intimate act of Renji pushing Rukia's hair behind her ear and then they stood up and he hugged her close to his body…

No, Renji had somebody. It must be a friend act. He looked away from his window when he saw that Rukia was making her way up towards the main sixth division building and Abarai the other way completely. Why was she coming here? There is no way the Elders would have told Rukia even after he made it clear he wanted her to know nothing.

But who was he fooling? He knew they would, he knew they would talk to her and she would say yes because Rukia felt the need to please every single Kuchiki.

Knock, Knock,

"Captain Kuchiki? You have a visitor."

Byakuya sat at his desk and away from the window, "You may send them in."

He was not surprised in the least to see his sister walk through the door and sit in front of him with an unreadable expression on her face. What have they done to her? What have they said to her? She was their puppet… she was their play toy to use at their discretion and she was paying the price.

"Hello Nii-sama. How are you doing this morning?" she asked pleasantly, trying to confuse him.

"Cut to the chase Rukia, why are you here?"

Rukia swallowed and shifted her gaze to the floor, "Grandfather Ginrei came to me…"

Ah, so it was his grandfather. He did admit to telling Rukia the news, but what he didn't expect was so soon.

"I see… well I have decided that you are not obligated, this is my problem. I will find a bride suitable for me." He kept his gaze away from her and onto the paper he was now writing on. It was better this way, to disregard her proposal and keep a distance away from her. After all, what good would it do to marry his dead wife's sister?

Rukia gaped… find a suitable bride? No… then she would be sent away… she would be forced to marry some man she did not know… it was so much comfortable … as awkward as it is … to marry Byakuya. "I will be sent away…"

"To be married? I will guide them away from you for as long as I can. Once I have a bride and an heir their attentions will be on me, not you."

"'For as long as you can?' Byakuya I mean you no disrespect but if I marry you then I can be in this family forever and I will not be forced out. For how long can you hide them off of me anyways? For how long can you search for a bride until they decide you are taking too long and come after me?" Her voice held a hint of desperation.

"Rukia…" He didn't know what to say for once… how long could he traverse them away from her? He knew deep down they would get to her and force her to marry. But could he really marry her to protect her from all of those things? He could keep her in the family forever and protect her even close. It would be difficult to watch over her from far away. And it would certainly be difficult to protect her behind her new husband's closed doors, "Did you not hear me? I will choose a bride." But he can't let this nonsense go on. Rukia was just a child and did not need this kind of pressure. He tried to ignore the voice in the back of his head screaming that she was clearly not a child.

Rukia could hardly believe her ears… she thought for sure that Byakuya would marry her instead of a stranger… after all, they could pretend and lie better then any stranger. A stranger would find it confusing that her brother was not willing to bed her. Of course… it was the logical choice to marry her. Then the anger settled in, rage raced through her veins at the only logical choice of hers was dismissed like it was nothing! She took a lot of shit from him in the past, but to be flat out denied? What the fuck? She knew he didn't find her ugly, after all she was a walking replica of her dear older sister so that wasn't it. Perhaps it was her personality… too much for him to handle maybe? Well hell! He needs to grow up and just pretend to like her … at least for now.

Rukia did the unimaginable and most shocking thing he has ever witnessed her do to him, she stood up, her eyes blazing with anger and she tore his reports away from him. He watched in shock as they flew to the ground in piles of heaps on the floor. He studied her features and noticed that he has never seen her this angry before and something inside of him was stirring.

"Do not be stupid." She hissed, "They will force me to marry and I do not want to do that! It took me years to earn our families' respect! Do you know how long it will take me to earn another families' respect? Not to mention how easy it would be to force me to do something I do not want! Do you really think you could find a wife when they searched high and low for a respectable woman?! Do you think they would resort to me when they could have somebody better?! Do you?!" She shouted in his face and he was sure people on the outside were listening.

So this is the side of Rukia that Kurosaki and Abarai have seen that he has never ever witnessed, in all of the fifty five years he has known her…

"I would appreciate it, if you wouldn't shout in my face." He said calmly, "And to pick up my papers you so rudely tossed across the floor." He added with pure menace.

A flash of anger passed her eyes and she scowled, such a unique look that he has never witnessed on Hisana or Rukia.

"Think about what I said." Her voice was low and deadly, "I am giving my decision to Grandfather Ginrei and unless you don't show up to the ceremony we will be married." She stood up and left calmly as if nothing had happened and ignored his request to pick up his papers. She opened his door and he stared on in shock as many faces were looking at him with confusion and fear as his petite sister stormed passed them in a fury.

What ... The … hell? She was fucking scary when she wanted to be. Did she just threaten him? Or was he delusional? He stared at the papers on the floor and frowned, damn… she had a temper. She really must not want to be sent away to be married. This has to be terrifying to her and yet, she is acting so brave and … devoted, an angry devotion none the less. Hisana never once grew angry or confrontational with him, never once did she raise her voice to him like Rukia just did. He knew his sister had a temper from the stories he heard around Seireitei but to see it in person… damn.

He couldn't even reprimand her because of the stress she was under from The Elders. From her point of view he was sure he would be terrified. From the moment Rukia was adopted she has had standards and guidelines to follow and she has always been one to prove other's wrong with her performance. She has always been timid and shy very polite and follow every difficult task that the Kuchiki have given her.

So for them to put her in this position… she must feel obligated and for him to flat out deny her and tell her that he will choose another wife must have brought the fear within her. She would fail the elders, she would not accomplish her goal and fail them. Fear causes anger and doubt which would explain her small tantrum.

He really wanted to protect Rukia, with all of his heart, after all she has become more special to him then any of his family members or even his squad. He knew that by bringing her into this family he alone could protect her, but it was this very family that could break her. He finally realized years later, that it was this very family that destroyed Hisana's heart.

He feared that Rukia would suffer the same fate but as she grew into a strong capable shinigami he began to realize the difference's in the sisters' hearts. They were opposite in strength. Hisana was timid, loving, and shy. Rukia was a hard headed, strong willed, out spoken woman.

It was this very family that had the power to break Rukia, yet they didn't nor would they and Byakuya was at ease thinking all the danger was out of the way. But he foolishly forgot one important fact, successors. He should have known they would try to pawn her off to become a child baring house wife.

He sighed once more, this was becoming a rather distasteful habit and it all derived from his younger sister. Byakuya stood up and swept out of his office telling one of the officers standing by to clean up his office.

Byakuya was going home for the day, his head hurt now and he had a lot to think about.

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Her chest hurt. It was constricting tightly and she felt as if she couldn't breathe anymore. Oh sure she had told Byakuya how it was going to be, but it didn't take the fear and apprehension away.

Never once in her life has she ever raised her voice to Byakuya, even with how close they have been getting over the years she still has yet to use her temper on him. Rukia rushed out of the sixth quad division, her cheeks flushed and tears springing to her eyes. Figures, her nerves were causing her eyes to water.

She left the Sixth Squad and made it out to the streets leading to the other Squad's headquarters and continued to run as fast as she could to an opening towards a small forest with low branches good enough for privacy. She collapsed on the ground and let her tears fall. Had she really acted that barbaric in front of Byakuya Kuchiki?! What would he think of her now?

She has made up her mind, she would marry Byakuya Kuchiki and she would not fail their family. It was too late to turn her back on the Kuchiki now. Even though part of her screamed for her to run away with Ichigo like he said, but she couldn't do that to him, or the Kuchiki, or her brother for that matter. It was either Byakuya or some skeez.

Rukia ran her fingers up to her chest as she sobbed. The pain was getting to be too much and her breaths were coming out in strangled puffs.

After a few minutes Rukia's breathing was starting to return to normal and she wiped her remaining tears off with her sleeve. She stood up and looked up at the cloudy sky through the heavy branches and promised herself that no more would she be weak. Rukia Kuchiki would walk into her faith with her head held high and very proud.

The first step into becoming Byakuya's wife is to be like him, a proud Noble with stunning behavior skills.

Rukia nodded as in reassurance to herself and walked out of the forest with her chin up, jaw set, and eyes cold as ice. It was time to give her decision to Ginrei Kuchiki.

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Okay another chapter up!! So I have some news for you Rukia/Ichigo fans. My story Bittersweet Betrayal will have an update very soon! Enjoy this chapter because starting in the next one, we have the upcoming wedding ceremony… maybe haha.