Uhm, I finally found this one. It was stored somewhere and I had been looking for it for quite sometime. Now, I know I am not yet done with my other story which is the "Heart's Keeper" but I think it's alright to post this one. After all, I'm nearly done with the other one. So hope you enjoy. In here, Ulquiorra might be a little bit OOC at times and that is for the purpose of the story. I think, it's also nice to do some changes once in a while.
Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach.
Karakura High was one of the prominent high schools in the area of Karakura and it boasted a lot of talented students to compete against other schools in academics, sports and other curricular activities. For that, it was known as the number one school.
Then again the credit goes to the school's club president, a small girl with a fierce spirit. Because of her leadership, she had led the school to many championships from the time she became the president on her junior year until she graduated. She scouted a lot of talents and knew exactly where to put them. As such, she became such a legend along with her large group of friends.
Aside from achievements like those, she was also famous for being one half of the golden couple. She was Ulquiorra Schiffer's girlfriend. The aforementioned guy was also famous in both academics and sports and perhaps he was always the best bet the school has to offer against opponents. He was good at almost everything. And seldom loses.
And so the two found young love in each other. And come forth the reunion, the school administration wanted to see how much of that love had blossomed after nine years.
But of course the fairy tale love had come to an end during their college years. No one knew the reason. In fact, when Rukia left for America, it looked okay. So five months after, her friends and others were all shocked to learn that Ulquiorra Schiffer is dating Rukia's best friend of all people.
The reunion was set in a week's time and invitations had been sent to everyone already and the alumni did not disappoint for they all looked excited about the idea – to see people they have known long ago, to get to know what had happened to them in the nine years. Mostly, everyone seemed to look forward to it while a few are anxious about it.
"A reunion eh?" Ichigo grumbled as he undid his tie before filling his glass with wine. Across him were Matsumoto, Nel, Toshirou, Ulquiorra, Renji and Orihime. The others could not make it that time due to conflict with their work schedules.
"This is the first time the school owner decided to arrange something like that, I wonder why," Toshirou muttered and sighed.
"The owner probably thought to do something new this time, he's always been one for surprises anyway," Renji spoke and gave Ulquiorra and Orihime a hooded look. He knew, even though the others were quiet about it, they all wonder about the same thing.
Will they finally get to see Rukia?
After she went to America for the scholarship program, they never heard from her anymore and any means of communication was cut off.
"But wouldn't it be nice somehow" Nel asked with a warm smile. "I mean, it only happens once in a while so it does not sound so bad." At that time, Orihime chose to excuse herself due to an urgent call.
Smiling reluctantly, she spoke. "Excuse me, my brother is calling. I'd be back in a while."
Once she was out of sight, the rest of the group immediately bombarded Ulquiorra with questions as the quiet man just listened with a frown.
"You don't really know where Rukia is?" Ichigo asked.
"Hey, I never asked this in the nine years that we stayed together," Matsumoto asked and winked at the man on the other table before focusing her attention back at him. "How did you two really break-up?"
Ulquiorra sighed. "Who knows…it just happened," he said casually. Idiot. You just don't want to talk about how she broke things up with you.
Toshirou scratched his head. "I don't know, but if Rukia will come, I wonder how things would go between the three of you. After all, you ended up engaged with Orihime."
"I don't see the point why you guys are all so worried about it," Ulquiorra wondered. "Things happened in the past okay? And if she comes, then that's just it." I guess.
Nel frowned. "What is it you are keeping from us?" she asked as Orihime appeared once more to hear what was being talked about.
She knew how things ended up for them. She was there at that time to witness it. "Rukia sent him a letter of break-up."
"What?" Matsumoto screeched making Ichigo and Renji twitch their ears.
"Seriously?" Toshirou asked.
Orihime looked away at the cold look Ulquiorra gave her. She knew it was hard for him to think about that one more time but he will never be able to move on if he continued keeping things to himself. And she will never be able to reassure herself if that happens. Because within their relationship is the shadow of Rukia lingering there.
"Look, what happened between me and Rukia stays between the two of us and you guys don't have to meddle with things," Ulquiorra warned which shut the mouths of the rest. "So if you insist to talk about it, then do so but not under my presence."
With that, he stood up and gave Orihime a pointed look before stalking away, his hand busy with his mobile already. They knew he's going to do work. He was always a workaholic man anyway. From being a private investigator, he turned into an architect.
"I'm sorry I brought that up," Orihime apologized and bit her lip. Matsumoto sat with her and wrapped an arm around her shoulder.
"No, no, it's alright," she said warmly. "It's just that…it's so surprising for us to learn how it ended."
"And you guys kept quiet about it…" Neliel whispered. At the back of her mind, she was beginning to question if Rukia was capable of doing that. From what she could remember, the girl loved Ulquiorra so much. Somehow, she knew she can't judge Rukia though.
After all, no one knew what happened to her. She just hoped that things will be alright at the reunion.
Aizen was drumming his fingers against the table while his companion, Starrk looked at him. "Just to see how the love blossomed?" Starrked asked, incredulous, not really expecting his friend to be that passionate about that idea. And since when did Aizen become so romantic that he thought about that?
Stark sighed and palmed his face. "Is that a whim of a dying man?" he asked, not minding bringing up the delicate subject. Aizen simply chuckled.
"Ah well, maybe. I was in America during most of my college years," he stated with a wistful smile. "And whenever my parents visited me there, I used to hear them talk a lot about the club's president, her group of friends, their achievemenedts and of course, the golden couple. By the time I got back here, they all graduated so I never really got the chance to see all those things."
Starrk sighed. "Okay, from what I have heard, no one knew where Rukia is. Not even her friends and not even Ulquiorra Schiffer."
At that, Aizen smiled. "I have taken care about that already."
A round of applause followed after the CEO of the company finished her speech in front of her business partners. Rukia simply bowed a little and left the room as soon as she was sure everything is alright. Her advisor would be the one to entertain the questions.
"Rukia-sama," a man with an afro greeted as she stepped out.
"Love, where's my next appointment?" she asked coolly as they walked down the hall with her bodyguards trailing behind. Since Mila Rose was sick, she left everything to Love instead of Lisa because the latter is also busy with all the documents that Rukia asked from her.
"You are to visit the project site with Mr. Ukitake," he informed. "In about an hour."
She nodded as they entered the elevator. "After that?"
"You are to have a lunch meeting with the board of directors of the Kyorakou Corporation by twelve and another meeting with a colleague for her business proposal."
Love wondered how this small woman was taking all of this pressure. He had never seen someone work so hard, day and night without giving much thought to her own. Ever since she took over the company, it boomed even more but in all the years that he had served under the Kuchiki name, he never expected this small woman to double Byakuya's effort.
"By the way, a letter arrived for you," he said when he remembered about it. "I think it was from Aizen-sama."
Handing down the small envelope, he waited for her to talk but all he got was that a small widening of her eyes before her composure was back. Curious, he peered over it. "A reunion?"
"So it says."
"You don't sound happy about it," he commented when Rukia closed the invitation card and handed it back to Love.
"I'm not," was her curt answer.
"May I ask why?" he asked tentatively, not sure if he's going out of line. After all, it was only with Byakuya and Rukia that the people who worked for the Kuchiki felt somehow comfortable despite their domineering and aloof presence. It's really a wonder how that happens.
"It's a waste of my time. I have lots of things to do. I'm scheduled for Europe next week right?" she asked instead as they once again stepped out of the elevator and went straight ahead outside where a waiting man opened a car for her.
"Yeah. So does that mean you are not going?" he asked when the car drove away. Two more cars followed behind. It was like guarding a president. But then again, Rukia and her family had always been influential people and after something that happened some years ago, security around her had been tight.
"I will only because Aizen requested my presence. It seems his sickness is getting worse and has a few months left."
"To think he'd soon follow after his friend," Love mused and immediately apologized when Rukia stiffened. "Sorry."
"So when do you plan to go there?" he asked instead.
"Call Lisa to arrange everything for me. I'll have to postpone my Europe schedule. In any case, going to Japan can't be avoided. I was set to go there next month anyway for the expansion of the Kuchiki Inc., have you done a background check on the potential partner, Mashiro Kuna?"
"I'll study it tonight. So tell Lisa to reschedule everything with Miss Mashiro."
"Yes ma'am," he nodded once more. Then Rukia turned to him with a curt smile. It was the smile she could only give to those who remained to support her.
"And I'm not going to fly there alone. You and Lisa will be coming with me, right, Love?"
A warm smile curved the older man's face. Despite being dubbed as the Ice princess in the business world, and despite remaining one, living with her for nine years made him read the uncertainty in those pair of beautiful eyes.
"Of course, Byakuya-sama asked me to remain by your side after all," he said.
Finally starting to relax, she leaned on the car and set aside business for a while. "I wonder how he would feel if he…" she sighed.
"He would be very proud," he said gently. "Take a nap for a while. You need it."
She smiled. "Thanks."
Aizen picked the frame at the bedside table and stared at it. There were three of them there. Him, Byakuya and Gin. The picture was taken fresh from college. How he missed the two.
"Neh, this is how a dying man feels huh?" he asked the two as he sat down. "Just looking at your faces felt nostalgic enough."
He could still remember the first time he met Rukia. It was nine years ago. Him, Byakuya and Gin were having a good drink at Byakuya's condo when suddenly his grandfather appeared with a news that he found the long lost sister that Byakuya had never known about. To their shock, she was a spitting image of Byakuya's older sister.
And yet despite it all, Byakuya accepted her and loved her in a short span of time.
But learning about a new heiress, one named Kouga who was Ginrei's son-in-law got jealous and had her kidnapped. Rukia was with with Byakuya and Gin for a show that time. And Aizen was already back at Japan. He knew the event had scarred the poor girl when both men died trying to protect her.
In the end, Kouga was sent to jail and was sentenced to life imprisonment.
And as far as he knew it, Rukia's life was changed forever. "I heard a lot about your sister when I took over this school, she seemed a nice girl. Your time with her was too short so I bet you never heard about all of it."
"You look stupid talking to a frame," Starrk entered with a tray of food. "Your butler is complaining how you are trying to be so difficult. Why not eat your dinner and take your medicine then you could continue doing that."
Aizen chuckled and motioned for his friend to come in. "It's not so often that you talk to a photo you know. I'm simply letting out my thoughts."
Starrk glanced at the framed photo. "They seemed nice. In all the years that you stayed here, I never saw them."
"They died," Aizen's tone was suddenly curt. "Anyway, how's everything at school?"
"As usual…there's a lot of talking about the coming class reunion."
"So…where is Rukia?" Starrk asked the question he was being bugged at in school. Everyone seemed eager to meet Rukia or her friends that he found it somehow amazing.
"Probably busy with her meeting and everything…the woman needed a break and I'm giving her one," he said with a mischievous smile. "Oh, do tell Urahara that the princess is coming home."
Though not getting what he meant, Starrk simply nodded.
Stepping foot at the country was nostalgic for bit. It felt strange that she finally came home after nine long years…and with a new identity this time.
"So, we're here," she cleared her throat before taking her glasses off.
"At least try to sound happy about it, it is a class reunion after all," Lisa suggested and adjusted her glasses as well.
"I told you, the class reunion is just a side-benefit of coming here," Rukia stated as a car parked in front of them.
Love sighed. "Finally, someone came to pick us up."
For a moment, Rukia swallowed when a nostalgic face stepped down from the car and gave Rukia a warm smile. He aged.
"Starrk-san," she acknowledged with a small bow.
"Welcome home, Rukia," he said with so much warmth and Rukia blinked before returning his smile with hers. Starrk heard her story from Aizen already and was surprised to learn what had happened to her for the past years. No wonder no one could contact her.
Her small frame did not change that much. She grew a bit taller, she still wears the same hairstyle. But what was surprising really is that she looked so formal now. Her face was serious despite the smile and it bothered him. What more if she met with her group of friends.
Come to think of it, he had promised to tell them if Rukia could make it.
"Aizen sent me here to fetch you and has arranged for you to stay at his place for a while."
"Thank you," she said and turned to her companions. "These are Lisa and Love…he is Starrk, the school's principal."
Lisa bowed formally and Love extended his hand for a handshake. "It's nice meeting you."
"Same goes," he said. "Why don't you step in?"
"Right," she nodded and only her and Lisa stepped in the car. He turned to Love.
Love jerked his thumb behind him to reveal at least seven men clad in black suits. For a moment, Starrk chuckled. "I see. I should have expected that."
"Oh, here comes our service," Love said as another car approached. "We'll be following behind."
Ulquiorra finished his design and was finally trying to relax. He was still debating whether to go at the reunion or not. It's tomorrow anyway. He wondered if he'll see her there.
The woman who hurt him.
Sighing, he stood up and opened a drawer where he kept that letter. When he first received this, he thought it was a lie. He knew Rukia would never do it. And yet the contents of the letter seemed all true. Only him, Orihime and Grimmjaw knew about the letter and he advised the two not to talk about it to anyone else.
For him, it was enough.
If Rukia had hurt him, it is enough that she does not have to hurt everyone else. And during those times, Orihime had become closer and one thing led to another and the rest they say is history. Orihime is a great woman. He would not deny that. She's compassionate too and always thought about his well-being.
Yet somehow, he could not bring himself to love her as much as he did to Rukia. Because he does not want to give so much again only to be betrayed in the end.
He reread the letter.
Hope things are going well around there. Say hi to the guys for me. Listen, I know this sounds so sudden but I ask you to understand. I'm sorry to break things up with you…
I'm pretty sure you'll find someone greater than me and I hope you do. I found someone here and I'm happy with him now…
Anyway, this would be the last letter you'd be getting from me. Starting from today, I don't want to have anything to do with you and everyone else.
The content of the letter was rude and cold and that was one reason he does not want to talk about it with everyone else last week when Orihime told them about it. Because they will all be hurt just like how Orihime felt when she read it, just how Grimmjaw cursed a lot when he did too.
Closing it again, he stretched his body at the couch with his arm on his forehead.
The big day for everyone else.
And he remained wondering if she will show up. And if she did, he wondered how he'll handle it. Just how can you face the woman who dumped you?
He wondered about that.
Okay, the letter thing, well, I'm pretty sure most of you are familiar with this kind of scene. This is quite famous especially with the Power Ranger stories as most talks about the way Kimberly ended things with Tommy through a letter. Now, this mode of break-up was inspired by that series actually.
Again, I would apologize if the characters are bit OOC. Like I have said, this is necessary in the story. And also, it's still a little vague…but hope you will continue to watch out for it.
Thanks for reading and take care.