"How dare you grab my brother's robe like that?!" they both froze, both seeming surprised by what she said, he more than her, "know your place rookie!"
They all stood silent as Ichigo looked up at Rukia from the ground, unbelievingly, "let's go nii-sama, after seeing such crude behavior I've finally come to my senses. Please take me to soul society, I humbly accept my sins and my punishment," said Rukia trying to hold back her tears.
"Hey wait! What are you talking about, Rukia?!"
"There's no point in killing him, even if you leave him like this he'll stop breathing on his own, let's go nii-sama."
"Stop right there Rukia, is this some kind of joke?! You look at me properly!" She began to walk away, " hey!"
"Don't move! Don't even try to move one step from there. I'll never forgive you," she said through eyes full of tears, their eyes connected, and he remained quiet at this, "You're going to die anyway, conserve your energy and try to linger on a moment longer…"
"Very well then, I'll just leave him be," said Byakuya sheathing his zanpakuto again, "Those two attacks were vital, his chest and collarbone have been thoroughly injured, he should die within a half hour. Even if by chance he does happen to live, not even a speck of the Shinigami powers will be left," said Byakuya walking away from Ichigo, "Renji," Renji nodded.
"Yes sir," he said, and with his zanpakuto opened a gate. Ichigo watched her, unable to move, his body torn and oozing with blood. He came here to help her, but it was he that ended up being helped again.
Rukia stepped into soul society expecting to find herself in front of a cell, but was surprised to find that they were in front of the Kuchiki manor. She looked over at Renji and Byakuya surprised. Renji was fidgeting uncomfortably, and Byakuya was staring off into the distance stoically.
"Go to your room, Rukia."
"But I thought…"
"We will speak of this tomorrow. Renji, walk her to her room," ordered Byakuya; Renji nodded, he walked towards the direction of the manor, and Rukia followed after him. Once they were out of sight, Gin Ichimaru approached Byakuya.
"I'm so pleased, Rukia-chan is back!" Said Gin cheerfully; Byakuya only looked at him, "what? You're not happy that she's back? I thought ya loved your little sister, Captain Kuchiki," grinned Gin; Byakuya still refused to acknowledge him.
"Think of it this way Bya-kun, it was either that, or the Sokyoku," said Gin; at this Byakuya finally chose to say something.
"Be here tomorrow morning, we will explain everything to Rukia, until then, there is nothing for us to speak about," said Byakuya coldly.
"Whatever ya say, Captain Kuchiki," said Gin sauntering off joyfully, "oh, and give Rukia-chan a goodnight kiss for me will ya?"
"Renji, what's going to happen? Why is nii-sama letting me stay here?" Asked Rukia once they were standing in front of her room.
"I'm not the one that's supposed to tell you, you'll find out tomorrow," said Renji avoiding eye contact with her. Rukia wanted to question him, but felt she was in no position to do so, so she let it go. Instead, she walked inside her room, and lied down on the bed. She stared up at the ceiling, and immediately thought of Ichigo. He was probably dead by now, and even if he wasn't, she would never see him again. She grasped the pillow beside her, and cried herself to sleep.
The next morning, Byakuya sent a servant to tell Rukia to dress up, they had a visitor for breakfast. Rukia did as instructed, she made sure to clean up well, and put on one of her kimonos. She took a deep breath before walking into the dining room. Who could it be? The elders? The Captains of the Gotei thirteen? Perhaps both? Surely it had to do with her punishment; she would without a doubt be sentenced to execution.
But when she walked inside she saw the last person she would have suspected, Gin Ichimaru. His grin was large, perhaps more than usual; one look at him, and Rukia felt herself being wrapped in snakes.
"Good morning Rukia-chan, have a seat please," smiled Gin; Rukia nodded, and sat in front of him and Byakuya, "Byakuya-kun and I have something very important to tell you," said Gin patting Byakuya in the back; Byakuya seemed displeased but didn't do anything about it.
"Nii-sama?" Asked Rukia confused at Gin's casual and friendly behavior around Byakuya.
"Rukia, as a result of your behavior, central forty-six and the elders of the Kuchiki clan have decided, that you are to quit your position as Shinigami immediately."
"What? But nii-sama I…" Said Rukia feeling a mixture of emotions, disappointment, sadness, rage, confusion.
"The decision has been made, and will not be changed," said Byakuya immediately, looking at Rukia coldly, his scrutinizing eyes telling her 'know your place'.
"Very well then, nii-sama, I accept my punishment," said Rukia bowing, using all her strength to keep herself from crying.
"There is, another thing, we must discuss, Rukia," said Byakuya avoiding eye contact with her; she was taken aback by this, she was not used to seeing Byakuya lose his stoic demeanor.
"Another thing?" She asked.
"Yeah, another thing," said Gin patting Byakuya in the back.
"The elders have decided, that since you have brought shame to the Kuchiki clan, you are in obligation to atone for your behavior," he said; she looked at him expectantly, "Rukia, two weeks from now, you are to be wedded."
"Wedded, to whom?!" She asked shocked.
"To, to a respectable and talented captain from the Gotei thirteen," said Byakuya hesitant to proceed.
"Ya forgot handsome Bya-kun," said Gin; Rukia's eyes widened in horror at this, she looked over at Byakuya, then at Gin, and suddenly she understood; she gasped.
"To…to," said Rukia stuttering as she looked from Byakuya to Gin again.
"Yes, Rukia, two weeks from now you are to be wedded to the Captain of Squad three, Gin Ichimaru."
~To be continued~
Disclaimer: don't own Bleach.
AN: some of you may recognize this as being psychegloom's story. I've adopted it and plan on posting the new chapter soon. Thank you for reading. :)
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Please review. :)