Title: The Ties that bind
Summary: After falling victim to the power of two strange hollows, Byakuya Kuchiki and Ichigo Kurosaki find themselves physically and mentally bound to each other. Can the two soul reapers find a cure to their problem before they die? Or worse fall in love?
Rated M: for Yaoi, violence and Language.
Genre: Hurt comfort, angst, Romance and a little bit of humour if you tilt your head the right way.
Authors note: I will be alternating the points of View in this story. But mostly I shall be sticking with Byakuya as he is so fun to write. I will warn you when the POV is about to switch.
Also this is the first time I have written a Bleach Fan Fic. So I'm still a bit iffy with the spellings I think I've gotten them all right but please let me know if I haven't :D
Please could someone send me the names for the different garments that the Soul Reapers wear. My knowledge goes as far as Shihakusho and Haori thank you.
Byakuya Kuchiki Captain of the sixth division deemed many things in life to be trivial and bothersome. For example he strongly disliked people who were hell-bent on attaining his company for petty reasons such as, discussing Seireitei's latest shock from the ever roving gossip mill. He loathed the Shinigami women's association and it's penchant for encroaching upon Kuchiki land and he abhorred the never ending myriad of people who actually believed him to be interested in their irksome lives.
Chief among these inconsequential annoyances however, was a certain individual's frightening and growing lack of respect for figures of authority. Ichigo Kurosaki the witless wonder, thorn in the noble's side and bane of his existence. From the day Byakuya Kuchiki had been so unfortunate as to lay eyes upon the foolhardy individual he had known the boy would be trouble.
As time passed he'd only become more assured in his conviction. The Human along with his rag tag crew of Ryoka had invaded the Soul Society and successfully took on the best the thirteen divisions had to offer.
The humans had forged a path towards Sokyoku hill. Risking their lives, all to save Rukia from being executed; a woman they barely knew. Of course Byakuya had not wished for the sister of his late wife Hisana to die. Yet many years before he had promised two vows, Protect Rukia and uphold the law, never could he have dreamed these two seemingly innocuous promises would one day conflict.
In his confusion he had blindly followed the law of Central forty six and had in the end chosen to uphold the will of his parents and the law of Seireitei. Justice had to be delivered, or all faith in the Kuchiki clan would be lost. The noble had stood by idly as Rukia his sister of more than fifty years had been thrown to the mercy of Sokyoku.
When Kurosaki had destroyed the ancient weapon of execution, Byakuya had leapt into action with the soul intention of defending his honour as both a Captain and a Kuchiki.
He had been shocked by the terrifying amount of power the young boy possessed and how quickly his powers had increased since their first meeting in the human world. Their epic battle had pushed him to the very limits of his abilities.
Byakuya was not as stoic as he would have many believe and whilst fighting Kurosaki he had in fact been at war with just his own heart.
He had no reason to win. For emerging victorious would only bury Rukia faster. He had not tried as hard as he might have had the situation been different and he had truly felt Rukia's punishment to be just. This lack of resolve he attributed to his ultimate defeat in the battle with Ichigo.
For that he was secretly thankful. Fighting Ichigo Kurosaki and losing had given him the opportunity needed to stop pursuing Rukia; whilst maintaining the dignity of his clan. Not that it was in the end required, for Toshiro Hitsugaya Captain of squad ten and prodigy had revealed the nefarious plot of one Captain Sosuke Aizen and his equally wicked co-conspirators Captains Gin Ichimaru and Kaname Tousen.
In the end Rukia was saved by that which had initially doomed her. She had been sentenced to death for sharing her powers with a human and that human had in turn fought tooth and nail to rescue her. He had succeeded not only in accomplishing his goal but also in earning the respect and trust of the Seireitei and begrudgingly the respect of Captain Kuchiki himself.
Byakuya of course would never admit that he valued Kurosaki and the help he had given. Instead the noble had made it clear to the boy that even though he had been helpful in a crisis his presence was no longer required nor desired.
Byakuya had been angered upon hearing the boy was to be made a Substitute Soul Reaper and had personally advised the Head Captain against making such a brash decision. The Kuchiki Noble did not believe the affairs of their world had anything to do with a human, that and he also did not wish to see again the Ryoka who had bested him in battle and lectured him on the finer points of being an older brother.
The boy had eventually left the Soul Society much to the chagrin of Kenpachi Zaraki who had been searching what remained of the Seireitei for a rematch. Byakuya and the other divisions Captains had been bombarded for near to three weeks afterwards with the eleventh squad's pleas for help in locating the human as a gift for their now despondent Captain.
It had taken awhile to regain some semblance of routine and order within the thirteen divisions, but somehow with a lot of hard work they had managed it.
Now many months later Byakuya stood in lush gardens of the Kuchiki Manor the trees had recently begun to blossom; their soft pink petals lending the expanse of land a gentle and calming tone. This time of year had always lured him outside and often made him introspective. He could easily walk through the gardens for hours turning over in his head everything that had happened since the last blooms had died. He found that now his thoughts would often turn to Rukia and whether or not she still thought ill of him for his previous behaviour.
He found solace in the fact that she had taken well to the newly revealed information regarding her older sister Hisana. She would sit and listen in rapt attention to any information Byakuya was willing to share with her about his deceased wife.
It had been hard for him to open up to the girl at first but with a little time it had become much easier. He now found he could look Rukia in the eye whilst speaking with her and would no longer restrict their conversations to matters merely of business yet also occasionally touched upon her experiences in the human world.
Byakuya was loathed to admit that all these changes were the result of the words Kurosaki had spoken to him. The Noble found it hard to understand how a young man who seemed so outwardly obtuse could find it so easy to connect with people regardless of whom they were or what their situation.
The Substitute Soul reaper was an oddity to him, a puzzle he could not solve. Byakuya had always become angered by people he did not understand an undesirable trait he had kept since his younger more rebellious years.
The Kuchiki noble was jerked unexpectedly out of his thoughts only to be confronted with the object of them crouching on a nearby wall. The older man quickly collected himself his mask of indifference sliding easily into place.
"What may I ask are you doing here Ichigo Kurosaki?" Byakuya questioned. He gave the Human a stern look hoping that it would at the very least make the boy uncomfortable enough to leave.
"I was looking for Rukia, have you seen her?" Ichigo asked as he jumped from the wall and landed softly onto the grass in front of Byakuya. The boy's Orange hair was tousled and his cheeks slightly flushed as though he had been running, no doubt away from Kenpachi the noble thought as he raised an eyebrow in impatience.
"I do not make it my business to be aware of Rukia's comings and goings. Now if you would kindly remove yourself from my property." He turned away from Ichigo silently cursing the boy for being so arrogant as to believe he were welcome.
"Aw come on you've gotta have some idea where she is." Ichigo barked as dashed in front of him effectively stopping the noble from walking any further.
Byakuya felt anger bubble in his stomach no other person would have the nerve to continue hassling him after he had already instructed them to leave him alone. What made this boy so pig headed?
Of course Byakuya knew where his sister was, ever since she had disappeared in the world of the living he had made it his duty to know. Right now she was on a simple recon mission in the nearby Rukon districts' looking for some deserters of much lower rank. The task was nothing she and the other three squad thirteen members assigned with her could not handle. Rukia would no doubt be back within the next few hours.
Perhaps it was a childish desire to get back at the human for his meddlesome ways for Byakuya did not feel at all inclined to share this information.
"I do not, now leave." He tried again. His fingers were itching to reach for Senbonzakura, so that he could teach this vexing boy a lesson.
"You're such a stick in the mud Byakuya. You need to loosen up a bit. You should get out more let your hair down, have some fun." Ichigo had a huge smirk plastered his face that at the same time as being cheeky held evil undertones.
The noble immediately sensed the bait the human had laid before him, after a second's hesitation he decided not to react to take it.
"I would thank you to keep your opinions to yourself Kurosaki. Now leave before I make you."
He stared at Ichigo with what he knew after many years of practice to be a commanding death glare.
"I was only saying. There's no need to get your panties in a wad."
Byakuya started at the boy's vulgar use of language.
Why does he have to bother me? Why can he not burden Abarai with his presence?
"Leave now." He nearly growled as his hand went to the hilt of Senbonzakura, it was a meaningless gesture, but one he hoped would carry enough weight to make the object of his current situation scamper away.
However to his discontent it had the opposite effect, as suddenly Kurosaki was jumping backwards through the air withdrawing the monstrous block of metal he had the audacity to call a Zanpakuto off of his back.
Brilliant, Byakuya thought sarcastically. Now my beautiful garden is going to become a battle ground.
"You really need to chill out!" Ichigo huffed Zangetsu already raised into an attack position. "I was only asking where Rukia was. Seriously what's your problem?"
Byakuya's eyes narrowed in exasperation, how dare this child come uninvited into his garden, demand information on his sister and then proceed to insult him when said information was not forth coming? Why was the boy in Seireitei in the first place?
Curiosity got the better of him and the noble decided to pose his question.
"What business do you have here in Seireitei Kurosaki?"
Ichigo Lowered Zangetsu slightly, relieving one hand from its grip to scratch at the back of his neck.
"Uh, training with some of the vice Captains and third seats."
The boy's voice was slightly higher pitched than before and Byakuya read this subconscious trait as being indicative of a lie.
"I find that hard to believe, being the Captain of Squad six I would have been informed. Several of the largest training grounds are under the management of the sixth division. I would have been instructed by the Head Captain to facilitate your tuition." The raven haired Soul reaper watched with amusement as Ichigo floundered for an explanation, obviously unused to lying; or purely not intelligent enough to have come up with a more believable story.
The boy gave the older male a looked that said 'you win.'
"Fine, I was just hanging out, I haven't seen Rukia in a while and Renji is to busy with the mountain of paperwork you gave him. He said if I was looking for Rukia then I should come here."
Byakuya was going to kill his lieutenant the next time they crossed paths.
The Noble sighed then decided it was time to admit defeat; if only to rid himself of the Human.
"Rukia is on a mission in the Rukon district. She should return with the next few hours. Upon returning to the Seireitei she shall first go to Captain Ukitake to tell him of her findings. If you wish to see her then may I suggest that you make haste to the Thirteenth division?"
Ichigo Smiled brightly. Byakuya found it disquieting how the boy could both grin and scowl at the same time.
"Ok, Thanks Byakuya, I appreciate your help. By the way I was..."
Whatever Kurosaki was about to say was cut short by an almighty bang. That shook the ground beneath their feet, sending Kurosaki flailing to ground and the noble into a crouching position.
Both stood quickly, and then leapt into the air without a second's hesitation Zanpakuto withdrawn and ready for battle.
Once situated high in the skies above the Kuchiki manor together they surveyed the buildings below with keen eyes for the source of the disturbance. Both let out a sigh of frustration upon seeing a plume of black smoke rising lazily from the twelfth squad's research division.
"If it's not Aizen, Arrancars or Bounts it's Kurotsuchi." Ichigo sighed as he placed Zangetsu on his back.
Byakuya nodded in agreement. The mad scientist did seem to have a predilection for disaster.
Both Soul reapers were suddenly sent flying backwards through the air by a shock wave as yet another explosion decimated a sizable portion of the already crumbling Research division.
Ichigo was already soaring through the sky towards the catastrophe. Before Byakuya got the chance berate him. The noble in his many years had learned never to get involved with the twelfth squad and it's at the best of times lethal experiments, unless ordered to do so by the Head Captain.
The Kuchiki male begrudgingly followed the younger man after deciding that the combined Misery of Rukia and Renji would not be worth letting Ichigo go and get himself killed by whatever foul creature had broken loose from the twelfth squad this time.
Within a few seconds the Lord had caught up with the substitute, who had now landed upon the smouldering ruins of the newsiest Mayuri Disaster. The squads' members' were running left right and centre carrying various stretchers loaded with the injured away from the danger zone.
Ichigo was scrambling over a massive slab of rock when Byakuya flash stepped in front of the boy.
"You have no right to interfere here Kurosaki."
"Get out of my way Byakuya, they need help." Ichigo shoved past the noble and marched towards the hole that now passed as the entrance to the Research building.
Byakuya sighed in mock exhaustion.
If you can't beat them than you might as well join them.
He followed the boy through a thicket of wires and piping. After minutes of hazardous progress and several colourful swear words from Kurosaki they finally happened across Lieutenant Nemu Kurotsuchi.
The strange sombre woman stood with what appeared to be two miniature Hollows encased in glass Containment Vessels. They were no bigger than an average adult male's hand, acidic green in colour and shaped much like a slug, what appeared to be the Hollows heads were encased within delicate white masks that fanned out at the end to resemble the petals of a flower.
Both Soul Reapers looked at the curious creatures for a few seconds before Byakuya saw fit to question the vice captain about the cause of the explosion.
"What happened here?" he asked as Ichigo moved closer to Nemu to better inspect the hollows.
"My Captain was experimenting with these newly discovered hollow forms in a contained environment within the lower research labs, when several breached the fields. And although we have yet to confirm this we do believe them to be the cause of the blast." The dark haired woman said in a monotonous yet sweet voice her eyes trained intently upon Byakuya's own.
"You said several breached containment, Have all been located?" Byakuya asked despite intuitively knowing the answer.
"There were originally nine of these smaller hollow forms, all identical, I have two here. And five more have been neutralised." Nemu began to walk down the hall Ichigo hot on her tail.
"So there are two more somewhere." The Orange haired soul reaper stated sounding far too excited in Byakuya's opinion.
"Yes Captain Kuchiki there are, so far we have not been able to locate them, it is now being assumed they were destroyed in the blast." Nemu replied, letting Ichigo take one of the containment units off of her.
"What do they do?" Ichigo asked as he lifted it up to eye level so he could better view the small slithering creature inside. "They seem harmless enough to me."
"As of yet my Captain is unsure, they do not seem to serve any purpose, How they managed to escape from Hueco Mundo with such low spirit pressure is a mystery."
"Yet you believe they are responsible for the explosion?" The noble pointed out.
"They somehow managed to slide through the previous containment unit as though the glass were nothing more than air. They went straight through the walls; and as you are no doubt aware the power lines that run through those walls lead directly to the generator; that is where the first explosion took place. We have taken measures to ensure that the Hollows do not escape again by containing them within these new Sprit Particle suppressing containment vessels." The Lieutenant turned away from Byakuya and took the second container back from Ichigo whom by this point was swinging it around in circles causing the Hollow inside to squirm frantically.
"I can assure you Captain Kuchiki that the situation is under control, now if you will please excuse me. I must find my Captain." With that the woman walked away.
Ichigo turned to Byakuya with a grin spread across his face.
"Wanna see if we can find the other two?"
The noble sighed in exasperation. How could the boy be so dim-witted?
"The lieutenant clearly stated that our assistance is not required. You have no business being here Kurosaki. Now if you will follow me; I want to be sure you leave the premises."
"Come on man, I was only asking no need to get all grouchy." Ichigo strutted pass Byakuya towards the exit. "Besides I'm bored I need something to do."
The noble followed the boy careful not to fall on the rubble strewn floor.
"If you are bored; then why do you not return to the world of the living?"
"I can't go yet. I still have to see Rukia."
Byakuya felt like a block of ice had been dropped down his throat, he paused to look at Kurosaki. Could they possibly? No surely not.
"Kurosaki exactly what is your relationship with my sister?" he asked drawing himself up to his full height.
Ichigo's eyes went wide he turned to the Kuchiki male and looked at him as though he had grown another head.
Byakuya found Ichigo's discomfort amusing and had to suppress a smirk that threatened to break free.
"What...No...Nothing, there's absolutely nothing going on with me and Rukia, she's my friend honestly. Yeah that's right she's just a friend!" The boy looked like a deer caught in headlights, his hands slightly raised in defence as he backed away from Byakuya.
Unfortunately for Ichigo walking backwards in a dark hallway with God knows what scattered across the floor was not the brightest thing he could have done as soon enough the boy had fallen over a collapsed pillar and out of sight.
Byakuya waited a few seconds for the boy to stand up so that he could lecture him on the finer points of grace in movement; however after a few moments had passed it was clear Ichigo was not going to get back up. Byakuya seriously debated whether or not to walk away and leave the boy to his own devices; but upon visualizing the image of Renji and Rukia moping around for want of their beloved friend decided it would not be worth the hassle so the noble strode forward to the place where the boy had vanished only discovered a fairly large hole where the flooring should have been.
Why me? The noble thought bitterly. Out of all the people in Seireitei why did I have to be the one he deemed to be in need of his presence?
"Kurosaki?" he called as he leaned over the foreboding opening he heard a groan in response. He must be injured, Byakuya thought, it serves him right for sticking his nose where it does not belong.
The noble was in the process of spreading his senses to better locate the human's spirit pressure when unexpectedly the floor gave way sending Byakuya flailing down towards the murky depths of the twelfth division's lower levels.
The noble managed to right himself and slow his decent just in time to land somewhat gracefully. His luck however was short lived as within moments of regaining his equilibrium a pain akin to that of being stabbed shot through his arm. He looked down to find the source of his rather agonizing discomfort only to lay eyes on one of those disgusting hollows.
The slug like creature had latched onto the back of his right hand it's petal like pinchers dug firmly into his flesh. Byakuya stood transfixed for a few seconds by the disturbing sight before grabbing the tail end of the acid green monstrosity and ripping it from his skin.
The noble grunted in pain as blood coursed freely from the newly formed wound and was about to dispatch the creature when a wave of nausea and exhaustion sent him to his knees. Byakuya looked around for Kurosaki only to see that the boy was unconscious on the floor nearby the second beast was latched upon the teen's chest and glowing eerily in the dim emergency lighting. The noble tried to regain control of his faculties and stand up but with every effort only found he became increasingly tired.
Have I been poisoned by some kind of Hollow venom? He thought blearily his body falling to the dusty floor. Am I dying? Is Kurosaki already dead? The noble tried desperately to reach out for the human as he fought to keep his eyes open yet soon enough he could not even form a cognitive thought as darkness consumed him.
To be Continued xxx
I really hope you all enjoy! Please R&R BYAICHI FOREVER!