Love Lies Bleeding

By Inuyoshie

THE amaranth is a fact and a fancy. It is the flower of immortality, the flower of love, the flower of fame, and the flower that accompanies Hope until she is ruthlessly swallowed by Despair. "Love-lies-bleeding" is a name needing no explanation to one who has seen the flower, for often the pendent inflorescence, of a brilliant crimson colour, may be likened to streams of blood; but as a figurative expression it might with equal propriety be called "Hate-lies-bleeding." Amaranthus is the unfading flower, amar giving the adjective to the noun. By a confusion common in the history of words, amar has been changed to amor, and thus the unfading flower becomes the flower of love: the outward characters explain the rest.

Chapter One

(From Ichigo's Eyes)

"YOU'RE LATE!"

I dodged a kick to the face with a scowl.

"WHAT KIND OF NORMAL FATHER HAS A FRIGGIN' SEVEN O' CLOCK CURFEW FOR HIS TEENAGE SON?" I yelled at the goat-faced bastard.

"I make my rules very clear- in the Kurosaki house, dinner is at seven. Sharp!" Isshin Kurosaki (otherwise known as my freakin' insane father) bellowed at me. I rolled my eyes and glanced at my little sister Yuzu, who sat at the table, dishing out rice. She smiled warmly back at me, and I sighed. Karin, Yuzu's twin sister, sighed.

"Come on Yuzu, let's just eat. I'm starved," she complained. Yuzu looked at Dad and I worriedly, and then began eating.

"MASAKI! WHY IS OUR SON SO DIFFICULT?" Dad whined to a poster of our deceased mom.

"Maybe it's because you have the emotional capacity of a four year old," Karin remarked, chewing her rice. I nodded and sat down at the table, dishing out some dinner for myself.

It was a typical night here in the household Kurosaki, with Dad being a goat-faced asshole, Karin being a total tomboy and Yuzu being… well, Yuzu.

The scent of garlic from dinner still wafted up to my room later that evening as Karin did the dishes. I flopped back on my bed and closed the window, finding the night air a little too chilly for my tastes. My room was a typical teenager's room, albeit probably cleaner than most… I dislike having stuff all over the place. That and people tend to stop by and hang out at my place often… usually it's just Keigo or Tatsuki, two of my friends from school. But Keigo was busy with his psychotic older sister tonight, doing some kind of family exercise… like a picnic or something. Tatsuki was competing in a hand-to-hand competition earlier, so she was probably resting (and in Kyoto) right now. In a fit of boredom I picked up a book I was intending on reading. I had received a book of the complete comedies of William Shakespeare from Orihime, a nice girl from my class. I hadn't finished it… I was just starting The Taming of the Shrew, one of my favourites. I chewed through the story eagerly, until my eyelids drooped and I slumped foreword on my bed.

Around 11 in the evening I woke up shivering. My bedroom window was open, and the lights in my room were off, save the soft glow of the lamp on my desk. A figure sat on the chair by my desk, holding a book in his hand. Half asleep, I blinked fuzzily.

"Who…"

"He does it under name of perfect love;
As who should say, if I should sleep or eat,
'Twere deadly sickness or else present death

I prithee go and get me some repast;
I care not what, so it be wholesome food."
The figure replied with a smooth, rich voice that seemed vaguely familiar.

"Katharine," I muttered in response. "My book…"

There was a soft chuckling, and I saw the figure rise up, walking over to my bed. He was surrounded in shadow, but I got a sense of… maleness from him I guess. The voice was deep anyways… deep and warm. The man approached me, and tilted my chin up, observing me with warm dark brown eyes that held a tint of red in them. Everything went fuzzy again, and the last thing I remembered was that soft chuckle of his.

The next thing I knew it was morning, my room was freezing and I had a crick in my back. There was some grumbling and yelling downstairs, and I groaned.

Karin's vampire-hunting buddies were over for breakfast again.

Oh yes… did I forget to mention that little fact? My little sister kills undead… things. So does Dad, but he's technically retired. They only call on him if a really nasty bugger is in town.

Now logically speaking, wouldn't it make more sense for me to be a hunter? Hehe well… you see… there was this one incident with Mom and the vampire who killed her and

(warm reddish brown eyes fangs blood so much blood)

I haven't been able to stand vampires ever since. I freeze up when around them. But my tomboy little sister Karin…? She was practically famous.

I yawned and straightened up, figuring what I saw was just a dream. I could have easily forgotten to close my window. And dreaming about mysterious

(handsome)

strangers sneaking into my room was what I got for falling asleep while reading Shakespeare…

I stood and dressed, showering lazily. For some reason my chin burned. I rubbed it with extra soap, and descended the stairs to see who was at the breakfast table.

Vampire hunters work in pairs… it's always been like that. So it was no surprise that Karin's partner, the ever grouchy and ever short Toshiro Hitsugaya sat at the table, scarfing down toast with Yuzu tending to some injuries. Karin was livid.

"You did WHAT? You freaking idiot!" she yelled at him, whacking him on the head with a cookbook.

"Ow… I got enough of that from the damn vampire," Toshiro grumbled.

"Hi Toshiro," I greeted.

"That's Mr. Hitsugaya to you," he grumbled back to me. Typical response. I spotted a red-haired man and a bald guy sitting next to Toshiro and groaned.

"Not you two," I muttered. Renji Abarai and Ikkaku Madarame, both vampire hunters, chuckled darkly.

"Damn straight," Renji grinned at me. I rolled my eyes and got myself some cereal.

"So what the hell is up with the pow-wow in my kitchen?" I demanded.

"Why would you care p- er…" Ikkaku trailed off when he saw that dangerous look in my eye. I may have issues with vampires, but living breathing people? No problem, I can beat the crap out of them any time. Especially when they make a mockery of my…er, issues.

"He's back. Not only is He back, but Hitsugaya tried to take him on," Renji sighed.

"He?" I blinked.

"The one who killed Mom. Souske Aizen," Karin said softly. I grit my teeth angrily.

"Oh. Him." I nodded slowly.

"…Look, it's personal-"

"He fucking killed my mom!" Karin yelled at Toshiro.

"Well he killed my-" Toshiro stopped mid sentence, and then calmed down. "Whatever."

"Oh don't you dare 'whatever' me," Karin snapped. "Just because you're older than me doesn't mean you have the right to keep information from me-"

"I can keep whatever I want from you!" Toshiro snapped.

"Hey hey, " I remarked, trying to break up the tension. "We're all pissed off and nervous, but there's no needs to bite each other's heads off,"

"What I don't get is why we're here though," Ikkaku grumbled once Toshiro and Karin had settled down and were eating calmly. I listened carefully.

"Because He was here…" a voice came from a window. I jumped slightly, and glared. The man in the window was none other than The Byakuya Kuchki, Renji's partner and the only man on the planet earth who is able to function with a telephone pole rammed up his ass.

"What? You mean Aizen was actually in his house?" Renji choked on his toast, paling. Karin glanced at me worriedly, but I kept my face straight.

"Wouldn't there be more dead people?" I remarked, my voice sounding slightly weak.

"You live right next to a hospital," Byakuya replied coolly.

"Dad would have mentioned it… if one of our patients was dead," Yuzu remarked smally.

"Yeah… and if He needed food, he could just pick someone off of the streets," Karin nodded. I tried not to turn green… the terms that are used… in the end, most vampire hunters sound more like their queries than humans themselves. I just wish… I wish that that life hadn't been thrust upon Karin at such a young age. Many other people agreed with me.

"Wait… how can you tell that He was here?" Yuzu asked quietly.

"He just can," Dad announced, stepping into the dining area with a sigh. "So Kuchki, where in the house was he? Did he hurt one of the girls? Ichigo?"

"I think it would be noticeable if he hurt anyone," I announced, a little too quickly. I had this unpleasant feeling in my stomach. Please let that man have been a dream please let that man have been a dream shouldn't I have freaked out if he was a vampire? Yeah, so it was just a dream, just a dream…

(warm brown eyes)

Byakuya was staring at me. I refused to meet his eyes, nomming on my toast. Eventually, Byakuya sighed.

"I have no idea," he admitted "what He did."

"Only that He did something," Dad frowned.

"For all we know He's just trying to psych us out," Karin spoke up.

"You hope," Ikkaku added. Toshiro glared at Ikkaku, and then glanced at Karin.

"Well, don't we have things to do?" Renji asked his partner after an awkward silence.

"Yes. Come." Byakuya nodded, disappearing through the window.

"Can't anyone use a door anymore?" Toshiro demanded after Renji followed Byakuya.

"You kidding? Doors are for pansies," Ikkaku replied, leaving through the same window. "Thanks for the grub!"

"AT least he had the sense to thank us for it," Karin muttered, glaring at Toshiro again. "Come on, we need to talk,"

Toshiro nodded and sighed, stepping out of the house with my sister. I watched them go, still feeling oddly cold.

My chin, however, seemed to burn.

/

Inuyoshie's after the chapter special

Okay, so that's the first chapter of Love Lies Bleeding. I got the idea for it from my lovely AizenXIchigo fan club… cheers to you all~

Don't worry, I'm still doing Nameless. I'm just…er, multitasking. Yes. Because I am a PC and can do that. And play games. Hehe…

Anyways, tell me what you think? Love it? Hate it? Want to eat me for it?

This will have a healthy side helping of HitsuXKarin, so if you don't like that pairing I'm sorry. There's also some ByakuyaXRenji. I dunno what to do with Ikkaku yet. I'll think of something. But I'll try to keep it on the AizenXIchigo road.

Next chapter is going to be a lot of back story, so please bear with me. I'll throw in some HitsuXKarin to keep things interesting. And there shall be a fight scene. Maybe some more yaoi.

Oh, and the quote is from The Taming of the Shrew. I got it from http:/ /Shakespeare. / taming_shrew /full. Html and do not own it. At all.

I got the information on Love-Lies-Bleeding (the flower) from http: /www. Aboutflowers .org/ loveliesbleedi_