Author's Note: You don't have to read this... I'd love you more if you did and you'll get to see how screwed up the author of this story really is. Haha! ...Omg. It's finally happening. Wait... what? OMG! IT'S FINALLY HAPPENING! AHHH! BOOK TWO IS OUT AND RUNNING! Hahaha! I want to thank all my readers for... *sniff* all their... *sniff* support! WAHH! Give me a second... *cries joyfully in the corner*... (Aneko: What a baby...) SHUT UP, NEKO-CHAN! *comes back, composed* Okay I'm better. Anyway, for all those you don't know me by now and for all those new, my name is Cecilia May, but you can call me Ceci or May. I don't really care, since I'll love you anyway, but before you start reading, there's just one thing I really want you guys to know about the first chapter of Can I Go On? (A Byakuya Kuchiki Love Story)... I HATE THIS CHAPTER SOOOO MUCH! I swear to God if you look on my laptop, I have literally 5 versions of this chapter. It took me an entire freakin' month (maybe exaggerated) to just rewrite this entire thing and it's driving me freakin' nuts. Sigh... Okay I'm good. Anyway, thank you again to all my readers and hopefully new readers! ^_^ Lolz. PLEASE! PLEASE! Review my story so I can give you the best experience ever and improve my skills. Thank you so much and please enjoy! PS: REVIEW PLEASE! _ Ps. Sorry if it's so long. T_T Didn't mean for that to happen.
Copyright Note: All characters and storylines within my story belong to their respected owners, authors, artists, etc. I do not own them whatsoever. However I hold complete ownership and trademark rights over all my characters and original plot. Please do not steal it. Thank you.
Warning Note: MUST READ! THIS IS A SEQUEL to my other story: Is It My Right? (A Byakuya Kuchiki Love Story). Please if you want to know what the hell is going on, please read the first book. I don't want any reviews saying 'Who is Kanji?' or 'Who the hell is Aneko?' Please I implore you and ask you respectfully to read my first book in this series before reading this. Thank you.
Can I Go On? (A Byakuya Kuchiki Love Story)
Book Two, Chapter One
Faith in the Afterlife
"Hey! Watch where you're going!"
"Godammit! I just fixed that!
"Ahh! My new shihakusho!"
"What's goi— Ahh! W-What the hell are you doing back already?"
A young man with shoulder-length brown hair and light grey eyes turned. He wore the regular shinigami shihakusho underneath the standard researcher's robe. On his waist was a blue and black sword that tucked underneath his researcher's robe. A small black butterfly tattoo peeked out from behind his neck. The young man cringed and saw the path of destruction he just left. He raised his hand as he continued to run forward and gave everyone behind him an apologetic face.
"Sorry! I'll fix that when I get back, but I really need to see someone right now! Sorry!" He shouted, flash-stepping out of the Shinigami Research and Development Institute.
Akon ran out of the institute and looked out in the far distance in the direction where the young boy disappeared off to. He sighed and looked back into the building where the floors were covered with broken glass and papers. He saw the other researchers pick up the mess, muttering to themselves.
"Captain Kurotsuchi is going to have your head when he gets back. You're already in enough trouble, Kanji…" Akon sighed and shook his head, looking back over the Seireitei, looking for the young man in vain.
As he left the Shinigami Research and Development Institute, Kanji laughed and flipped in the air as he continued to shunpo across the shining rooftops of the Seireitei. He looked ahead of him and saw the 6th division headquarters in the near distance. A wide grin spread across his face as he flash-stepped even faster to his destination.
~At the 6th Division Barracks- Main Office~
"Ginjiro, you may take this pile of papers. Have another officer send them to Squadron 1 barracks promptly." A deep silky voice said.
The lieutenant of Squad 6, Ginjiro Shirogane, turned from his own paperwork on his desk to look up at his captain. His gaze fell on a handsome man who looked to be in his mid-20s who was writing something down on a tan piece of paper. He had long black silky hair that had its bangs pulled back by a pearly white kenseikan, indicating his nobility status. Wearing his standard captain's uniform, Ginjiro's captain wore the distinguishable Kuchiki heirloom scarf to set him apart from the other Gotei 13 captains. As Ginjiro continued to examine his captain, he noticed that he had very pale skin that contrasted greatly with his dark grey eyes. This man was the great Byakuya Kuchiki, captain of the 6th Squadron of the Gotei 13 and the head of the Kuchiki noble house.
Byakuya, sensing Ginjiro's eyes on him, sighed and said, without looking up from what he was writing, "Ginjiro, I do believe, after all your years of service under me, that it is safe to say that you of all people should know how much I loathe repeating myself, or am I wrong to assume that?"
Embarrassed, Ginjiro immediately stood up and bowed. "Forgive me, captain. I haven't been getting a lot of sleep lately. I'll get those papers out of your way."
Ginjiro hurriedly walked over to the far corner of Byakuya's desk and picked up the small pile of paper. As he picked up all the papers, his view settled on another person in the room. It was a young girl, who seemed to be sitting on a chair next to the nearby window. She had pale porcelain skin, shoulder length raven black hair and dark purple eyes with a hint of blue in them. She had one single bang that trailed between her eyes. Ginjiro watched her for a few seconds, observing the solemn look on her face as she gazed out of the window. He had completely forgotten that she was there.
Worried that she was depressed for no reason, Ginjiro walked over to the young girl and said in a kind voice, smiling, "Miss Kuchiki, would you like a cup of tea?"
The girl looked up at Ginjiro and smiled. "Mr. Shirogane, please call me Rukia and no, thank you. I'm fine."
Ginjiro placed one hand on his hip and pouted, "Fine. If I'm going to call you Rukia, then you're going to call me Ginjiro, 'kay?"
Rukia giggled and nodded her head in response. Ginjiro grinned and turned back to his captain who continued to work on the remaining papers.
"How about you, Captain Kuchiki? A cup of tea really helps keep you awake when all you do is read and sign paperwork."
"No, thank you, Ginjiro. I'm almost done here, anyway."
Ginjiro nodded and walked towards the doorway on the opposite wall from the captain's desk, but as his foot made its way through the door portal, Ginjiro was knocked off his feet, scattering the papers throughout the office. Ginjiro let out a loud yelp as he fell to the floor. Rukia snapped her head up to see what the commotion was about, while Byakuya merely glanced up.
"Ow! What the hell…?" He groaned, rubbing his back.
Ginjiro looked up and saw someone quickly pick up the papers around the room. He had a researcher robe on. Ginjiro's face quickly changed from surprised to angry.
"GODDAMIT, KANJI! WATCH WHERE YOU'RE GOING!"
Kanji turned and gave him an apologetic face, bowing his head, "Sorry, Ginjiro! I didn't mean to knock you down! It won't happen again, I promise!"
"To hell with it not happening again. That's the fifth time you've done it to me and you say the exact same thing!"
Kanji chuckled and helped Ginjiro back up to his feet, handing him the new pile of papers. Ginjiro looked at the boy with an annoyed look and stomped out of the office, muttering. Kanji sighed and rubbed the back of his head.
"Man, is it just me or is everybody really mean today?" Kanji sighed, laughing to himself.
At that moment, Kanji heard a sigh and a voice say, "Is there any particular reason you're here, Kanji? Other than cause distress for my division, of course."
Kanji turned and looked at Captain Kuchiki with wide eyes. Then a wide grin elongated itself on the boy's face. Kanji walked up to Byakuya's desk and slammed both his hands down on the wooden surface, so loud that it made Rukia jump a little bit.
"I have the greatest news in the whole wide world for you, Byakuya! Guess!"
Byakuya sighed and rolled his eyes, continuing his paperwork. He glanced up at Kanji's glowing face and shook his head. Byakuya made no effort in trying to guess and Kanji noticed this.
"Well, you'll never guess it right, so I'll just tell you…"
Kanji paused and calmed himself, still looking at the busy Byakuya. Byakuya looked up at him, waiting. Rukia also listened intently on their conversation.
Kanji licked his lips and leaned in, whispering, "I found her."
He leaned back and looked at Byakuya with an anticipating look on his face, waiting for Byakuya's reaction. Rukia looked back and forth between the two men with a confused look. Who's 'her'? She thought, looking at her brother for his own reaction.
After awhile, Byakuya went back to his work and said, nonchalantly, "I didn't know you referred to your pride as a girl, but I'm glad you finally found it."
"SHUT UP! I've always had my pride. I never lost it, not even once!"
"Really? So I'm guessing it was your pride that was covering you when Mayuri 'accidentally' gave you the wrong chemicals during the shinigami student demonstration about a week ago, leaving you buck-naked in front of the freshman class. Yes, clearly you still have your pride intact and stable."
Rukia let out a giggle. Kanji turned to her with an angry expression as she quickly composed herself again. He turned back at Byakuya who at this point was observing Kanji's reaction. Byakuya shook his head and continued his work. Kanji noticed it was his last paper.
"Dammit, Byakuya! I'm not joking around. I found her! I found Aneko!"
Suddenly the brush in Byakuya's hand snapped it two. Kanji and Rukia looked at the brush with wide eyes and then at Byakuya. He was still looking at his paper with the same emotionless expression on his face. Kanji gulped and continued, determined to get out what he wanted to say.
"I was in the World of the Living, scouting for new test subjects that Mayuri assigned me to get and I felt a spike of spiritual energy. I don't know how to explain it, but I am 100% sure it was Aneko."
Kanji looked at Byakuya with astonished eyes. Why isn't he jumping for joy? Why isn't he doing anything? Isn't he glad that there is a chance Aneko is still alive? Kanji thought. He shook his head and tried to continue.
"I admit… I didn't see her or anything when I got to the site, but… God! If only you were there. She was definitely there. I felt her." Kanji slammed his hand again, his eyes tracing the intricate design of Byakuya's desk. "Dammit, Byakuya. She's alive! I know she is. Now I just need a little help with searching and…"
"Are you done, Kanji?"
Kanji looked up from the desk to meet Byakuya's glare. Kanji stepped back, staggering from the evil aura around him. He felt a cold sweat begin on his forehead. Byakuya stood up and continued to glare intensely at Kanji.
"Kanji, out of all the years I've known you, I have found you to be nothing but a pest, a disturbance, and a downright irritation. I have found no merit or benefit in our friendship in any way possible and if anything, I acquire a pounding headache from simply talking to you, but now…" Byakuya shook his head and touched his temple, indicating his inevitable headache. He sighed and calmed himself, "Now you have the gall to drag Aneko's name in the dirt just to fulfill your pathetic desires to bring someone who has been dead for years back from her grave. You are being ridiculous and I will not stand here watching you sully her name anymore than you have already done. Do you understand me?"
Kanji looked at Byakuya with wide eyes as well as Rukia. She had never seen him so angry before in all the time she had been with him. Why is he getting so worked up for this single girl?Rukia thought, confused. She turned to Kanji and was surprised to see his expression change drastically. Kanji slammed his fist on Byakuya's desk.
"I'm not fucking 'sullying' her name, Byakuya. I'm telling you the truth!"
"Watch your mouth, boy!"
"Why the hell won't you fucking believe me? I know you made the biggest mistake of your life marrying someone else, but still—"
"Oh and don't get me started at how much you changed, for the worst if I might add, after she left!"
"You know what, I don't care if you don't care about her anymore. You may not love her like you used to, but I still know that she's the only one for me. All I need is a little help from yo—"
Kanji and Rukia quickly looked at Byakuya, startled by Byakuya's rare but strong voice. Byakuya glared at Kanji, trying to keep his composure. There was a long pause, but Byakuya continued to speak once more.
"Kanji… Believe me… if you continue to talk about Aneko is such a manner, I will make sure you will be immediately decommissioned as a researcher from the Institute. You will no longer be allowed in the Seireitei nor will I allow you to have enough funds to put up a decent life in the Rukongai. I promise you this, Kanji…" Byakuya paused and waved his hand away. "I no longer want to speak to you. You are dismissed."
Kanji watched as Byakuya sat back down and take out a new black brush. Kanji couldn't leave it at just that. He just couldn't. Kanji went up to the desk and opened his mouth to protest.
At that moment, Byakuya put up his hand to stop Kanji, saying in a stern voice, "You are dismissed, Kanji."
Kanji watched in angry amazement as Byakuya continued his work. Now overcome by hatred and anger, Kanji turned and stomped to the door, knocking one of the visitor chairs that stood in front of Byakuya's desk over. Rukia watched as Kanji turned the corner, slamming the sliding door shut, making her flinch.
After awhile, Rukia sighed and looked at her older brother for any signs of emotions. No, he's back to normal…Rukia thought, sadly. She turned back to her window. Aneko… where have I heard that name before?
Rukia turned to Byakuya with wide eyes. She met Byakuya's solemn gaze. Her face softened.
Byakuya looked at her for a moment and sighed, sitting back in his chair. "I would appreciate it if you simply forget everything you just witnessed here."
Rukia looked at Byakuya and nodded. "Of course, Brother."
She paused, looking at her hands on her lap. With her eyes, she traced the fine lines that were etched in her palms.
"But, Brother… May I ask?"
Byakuya looked back up from his work.
Rukia turned to Byakuya, whispering, in a soft voice, "Who is Aneko?"
As Rukia observed her brother, she noticed his hand tighten around his brush while his eyes darken. She realized at that moment that she wasn't going to receive an answer. She sighed quietly and turned her attentions back out the window, watching the clouds roll silently through the sky.
~Meanwhile, in the World of the Living~
"There was a shinigami researcher there! After the Hollow was purified!"
"Is the Gotei 13 running low on shinigami? Do they need to send researchers now?
"If they're running low, that means they're weak! We should attack now!"
"Yeah! Why wait for them to find us? We must take action."
"I'm sick of waiting in this shit hole of a world! I hate hiding."
"Then let's do something. It's time we show ourselves rather than threaten shinigami jailbait and go after Hollows!"
"Mistress, this is the time to strike! Why do you have us wait in the shadows for an opportunity when we can just take it now?"
Suddenly an abrupt silence swept over the dark room. Everyone turned to the northern wall and saw a woman, her face hidden in the shadows, sitting in a large chair. She wore a long black kimono that also served as a very long train. The train sprawled itself across the dusty floor and over the arms of the chair. Along with her long kimono train, her long black hair curled and moved its way through the folds of the fabric. Compared to her black outfit and surroundings her pale skin seemed even paler to the point of looking white. In her pale fingers, the woman held a long black pipe and from her reddish lips, a wispy smoke floated out and wrapped around the woman, making her seem almost untouchable to a normal being. She had this air around her that made her seem like something else… something indescribable…
The woman smoked her pipe and let out a thin string of smoke from her mouth. She smiled and looked around the room at several people.
"Now that we've heard everyone else's opinion, I would like to hear the idiot who caused all this disruption in the first place to speak… Now." The Mistress said, her voice seductively smooth and stern at the same time.
There was no movement among the other people who were standing in the dark room. Everyone felt the Mistress's burning eyes scan across them. One of them gulped loudly, her hands shaking uncontrollably. The Mistress chuckled softly, turned her whole body, and lifted her legs up over the left arm of the chair, so she was lying sideways. She stuck her pipe back in her mouth and took a deep breath. Her eyes closed as she felt the smoke fill her lungs.
"An-chan… why do you make me wait every single time for you? It annoys me ever so much."
As the Mistress spoke, the smoke from the tobacco spilled out from her lips and wrapped the mysterious woman in even more smoke. There was still no answer. After awhile, the Mistress sighed and put her other hand that wasn't tending to her pipe up in the air in a delicate fist. Everyone watched as her pale index finger curled itself up.
Everyone around the woman took a step back. The girl with shaking hands placed both her hands at her lips, anchoring them down so they wouldn't shake as much. She whined a little as she saw the Mistress's middle finger curl up as well.
The Mistress opened her eyes and side-glanced at her awed audience. Her smile disappeared and she glared at each and every one of them. Her ring finger unlatched itself from her thumb and slowly made its way up. Suddenly a voice came out of the back of the room near the doorway.
"That's enough… I'm right here."
The Mistress turned and watched as a girl walked out of the shadows into the pale light that peeked through the crack in the ceiling that surrounded the Mistress. She wore a dark violet kimono and had long black hair. Her eyes focused themselves on the floor as she awaited the strangling words of her leader.
"An-chan…You turned into a shinigami…Against my orders…Right?"
The Mistress sat back up and smoked her pipe, looking at An-chan's slender figure in the dim light. A thin sword was at her hip, held up by An-chan's obi.
"What do you have to say for yourself?"
An-chan hesitated and said, in a nervous voice, "I had to protect them. Those humans… The Hollow was about to atta—"
"I don't care about the Hollow!" The Mistress shouted. "You almost gave us away!
An-chan looked up defiantly at the Mistress, shouting, "I don't fucking care if I gave this stupid group away! We do nothing but hide in our little hole like rats!"
The Mistress stood up and pointed her finger at An-chan. "Know your place, An-chan… You follow my orders, my rules, and my word! END OF STORY!"
"And where has that gotten us? Not fucking anywhere!"
"I know that researcher and he knows me; he's a dog for Captain Kurotsuchi. I can convince hi—"
"And what can he do? Shit! That's what! All he can do is tell Mayuri who is the head of the Shinigami Research Institute. They have the equipment to track us down and you allowed him the chance of almost spotting you! They can annihilate us in a second."
"IF WE FIGHT THEY CAN'T!"
"Oh yes, one minute is really an improvement!"
"Dammit, Mistress, I only joined this because I thought you can take us back to the Seireitei to get revenge on those who have done us wrong. To destroy the foundations of the nobility system. What now? You have done nothing for us, Mistress!"
The Mistress looked around and saw the spectators nod their heads in agreement. Feeling her power slowly slipping away, the Mistress flash-stepped in front of An-chan and grabbed her by the neck. An-chan, having no chance to react, gagged at the tightening grip of the Mistress around her windpipe. She coughed loudly, looking at the ceiling.
"An-chan, this is the last time you disobey me. I forbid you not to use your shinigami powers or else you will find your spiritual energy severed and taken from your lifeless corpse. THAT GOES FOR ALL OF YOU!" The Mistress shouted, her voice echoing in the room. "An-chan, you shall no longer endanger the safety of the entire group, because of your radical thinking. Be patient, you WORM!"
Throwing An-chan sharply to the ground, purposely aiming her head at a nearby rock, the Mistress looked back up and said in a stern and forceful voice, "Do notquestion my authority. I own every single one of you. I have saved your lives and have given you safety from this world. Each and every one of us is here because we have run away from the Soul Society because of certain individuals in the Gotei 13. Each and every one of us wants revenge. We cannot do this by following some idiot's ideas of attack."
The Mistress sighed and looked down disgustingly at An-chan's small body, "Our revenge on the Gotei 13 and the nobility will happen whether anyone likes it or not…"