Chapter 1: The Ice Prince
(This one is an angsty one and this chapter does include non-con sex. To be clear, the story is a Bya/Ren and Aizen will appear only in the beginning and maybe a cameo at some point. The baby in the story is Aizen's, but he will have no interest in it. The focus is on Byakuya and Renji, and how they come together to protect a child who is innocent, but was the product of a violent act. The story is not meant to be gratuitously violent but will be graphic at some points while exploring Byakuya's memories and emotions after being sexually assaulted. If you don't like this kind of story, don't read, but please don't complain.)
Byakuya left the sixth division in a daze, his mind as scattered as the petals in his zanpakutou release and wondering how he could have acted so coldly. His own words still rang icily in his head...
"It is as I said. Do I need to repeat myself? Twenty-five days from now, she'll go to the central execution grounds, where she will suffer the ultimate punishment. That is the final decision of the Soul Society."
But he had always treated Rukia coldly.
He couldn't even look at the girl. In forty years, he had only really looked at her once...on the day he had invited her to become a part of the family. And he had only extended the invitation because of his promise to his late wife.
"But I made a promise to my parents, too," he whispered.
He thought briefly of his mother, whose face he only knew from pictures, but who he knew had refused to abort her pregnancy, even when told it would endanger her life...and his father, who even though he was not of proper strength to become a taichou and clan leader, had placed his faith in his only child to follow in Ginrei's footsteps as he could not. It broke his heart to think of being a disappointment to them by dishonoring the family as he had, first by marrying Hisana, then by adopting Rukia. And so, he had made his promise to each. But now, the two promises had collided, and he had had to take on the pain of failing Hisana, by allowing Rukia to be executed.
He passed into Kuchiki Manor, forcing his face into passivity and calm, but refused his dinner and proceeded straight to the family cemetery. He knelt at his wife's graveside and reached out with his reiatsu to be certain that he was perfectly alone. Only once he was sure of that, did he let the pretenses fall away. His body shook with repressed emotion and tears filled his dark eyes.
"I am sorry," he whispered to his dead wife, "I don't know what to do. I have already defied the family and disgraced my parents twice. I swore that I would not do that again. I cannot help Rukia, nor can I let anyone know...my heart is breaking for her."
He shivered and wasn't surprised at the puff of mist that formed when he exhaled. He was ice-cold, inside and out...and he knew that when Rukia died, there would be no warmth left. His heart would be empty.
"But the family's honor will be intact," he whispered brokenly, "You would despise me,"
He loosed a soft, silent sob and closed his eyes for a moment, then opened them again and stared at her gravestone.
"Or worse...you would forgive me."
He lost track of what happened next, but sometime later, awoke to the fact that he had wandered far out into the forested area of the estate. He had passed the outer marker, and moved off of the property and into an area where a number of cabins had been built around a calm, misted lake. He walked around the edge of the lake, looking into the water and quietly observing the reflection of the moon where it broke through the mist and shined dully. He heard voices and started to turn back, loathe to let himself be seen, wandering and miserable as he was.
I am the Kuchiki clan leader, and not allowed to betray so much emotion.
He was almost out of hearing range, when he caught Aizen Sousuke's voice on the breeze.
"Everything is proceeding as it should. Tousen is watching over Central 46 tonight, while we work on the next phase of our plan."
"You know," said Gin, "I find it kind of surprising how easily Byakuya fell into that. He's usually intelligent in recognizing deception. I'm actually a bit disappointed."
"His hands are tied," said Aizen, calmly, "He will sit back and watch her die. He's a cold man...perhaps colder than me."
"I wouldn't have thought so," said Gin, "but he was completely heartless. He's really going to kick himself, when he realizes that you were behind all of this, and he let his sister be executed when she should have been given a much lighter sentence."
"Well, perhaps he won't have to suffer. Perhaps Kurosaki Ichigo will succeed, and will kill him in the process. That would be interesting."
Byakuya felt his blood begin to boil beneath his skin, but knew better than to get any closer. He might be the only witness to what appeared to be a dastardly scheme.
But why frame Rukia? It doesn't make any sense. She is a member of our clan, but she was not born noble, so if he is striking at the clan, why trifle with her? And why her if he was coming after me, personally? He acknowledged, himself, how I was so cold that I wouldn't defend her. What is his goal? And how would he influence Central 46's decision in her case? I saw the arguments. I saw them come to their decision! Yet, he says it was his doing? I don't understand...
"Well, well," said Aizen's voice, startling Byakuya out of his reverie, "It looks as though we have company. Kuchiki taichou, are you lost?"
He reached for his blade, then realized that he had left it at the manor. And before he could summon it to his hand, Aizen's blade was out and releasing.
"Shatter, Kyouka Suigetsu!"
Byakuya managed a stunned inhale.
Then, he was falling.
"How are you feeling?" asked the calm, kind voice of the fifth division taichou.
Byakuya opened his eyes and found himself naked and resting on an equally naked Aizen Sousuke's chest. His body ached fiercely, and he tasted blood in his mouth.
"Oh..." he groaned, feeling bile rise in his throat.
He rolled to his feet and barely made it to the bathroom, before loosing the contents of his stomach. He managed a few breaths, then began to heave again, and repeated the process violently, until he was seeing spots and knew there could be nothing left inside him. Aizen appeared and gave him water to rinse his mouth, then helped him to his feet and back into bed.
"Aizen taichou," he panted, holding his throbbing abdomen, "H-how did I come to b-be here?"
"You arrived suddenly last night," said his colleague, "You stumbled in, out of the cold, and you were nearly incoherent. I gave you some tea and a place to sleep for the night."
"Apparently," Byakuya said, still short of breath, "You gave me more than tea! How did I end up in your bed? Were we...intimate?"
A soft blush rose on Aizen's face.
"Forgive me, Kuchiki taichou," he said quietly, "But when I tried to leave you here, sleeping, you had an awful nightmare of some sort. I came in to see what was wrong, and...this...just happened."
"But...I am not the slightest bit attracted to you!" objected the noble.
"Gomen nasai," said Aizen, "But last night, it seemed that you found me attractive enough to take comfort in. I know I should have resisted, but...you were so lovely...so genuine in your heartfelt emotional response to your sister's predicament. I went along with you, although I should not have."
Byakuya looked down at his bruised and battered body and spotted blood on his inner thigh.
"It seems I was not the aggressor," he said, holding his head as it pulsed and ached sharply.
"Oh, but you were!" said Aizen, "You were very brutal...to both of us. I tried to heal you, but you said that you deserved the pain. I will heal you now, if you like."
"N-no," Byakuya said, dragging himself to his feet, "I have to go."
"Let me make us some tea," offered Aizen, "You still look..."
"No!" Byakuya said, grabbing his clothes and hastily dressing as Aizen watched calmly from the bed.
"My apologies," Aizen said, shaking his head, "I see that this really is a surprise to you. I would not have gone to bed with you if I had realized that doing so would be so hurtful to you. You are a lovely man, Kuchiki taichou...ruthless and brutal, but very beautiful."
"You cannot speak of this to anyone!" Byakuya said angrily, "I would likely be thrown out of my clan and the military!"
"Oh, surely not!" said Aizen, "At least, not the military. You know Kyouraku taichou and Ukitake taichou are in bed together, ne? But then...with your clan, it's another story, isn't it? I may be a peasant, but I am all too familiar with the ways of the nobles. Go then. I will say nothing...and this will not repeat itself."
Byakuya said no more, but flash stepped out of the room, ran through the cabin and fled back towards the manor. But realizing that his attendant would notice if he allowed himself to be bathed at home, he turned instead for the sixth division, hoping that Renji would not yet have arrived. He groaned inwardly as he felt Renji's spiritual pressure and realized he would have to get past the redhead without letting on anything was wrong. He looked down at his somewhat rumpled uniform and grimaced, but decided that there was nothing for it, but to escape quickly into his quarters. He opened the door and steeled himself.
"Hello Tai..." Renji began, then he stopped and frowned.
Byakuya nodded briefly, then hurried into his quarters. His legs were shaking and his heart was pounding by the time he reached the bed. He sat down for a moment, breathing slowly and trying to ignore the spots that danced before his eyes and the horrid pains that seemed to be everywhere.
What in kami's name happened to me? This was...consensual sex?
He undressed and stood in front of his mirror, the horror of what had been done to his body plain, and Aizen's words echoing in his shocked mind.
"You were very brutal...to both of us. I tried to heal you, but you said that you deserved the pain. I will heal you now, if you like."
"I deserve the pain," he whispered.
How much must I hate myself to have caused this kind of damage to my body and not even remember...?
He froze as the door opened and Renji stepped into the room, carrying the morning report.
"Taichou, I have the..."
For a moment, neither man moved.
Renji's shocked eyes took in the horrid bruising on the usually perfect pale skin, the harsh red lines where fingernails had raked the skin of his shoulder and back, and the thin lines of blood along his inner thighs.
"Kami," whispered Renji, "T-taichou?"
"Turn around and walk out of this room," Byakuya said in a threatening tone, "And you are never to speak of this to anyone."
Renji flinched at the heavy swell of his reiatsu and bit his lips, thinking. Then, he cleared his throat softly, and closed the door.
"I told you to leave," Byakuya said, grabbing a yukata and wrapping it around his slender frame.
"I know you did," Renji said quietly, "And I'm not going to ask you any questions you don't want to answer, Taichou, but I am going to heal you."
Byakuya lowered his eyes and let out an annoyed breath.
"I know you don't need me to do it. But I'm going to anyway. Just...please sit down, Taichou."
Byakuya hesitated for a moment, then sat down slowly, trying to hide how badly it hurt to move. Renji approached him slowly and moved a chair around so that he could sit in front of the noble. Byakuya averted his eyes and tried to ignore the redhead as Renji slid the yukata down off of his shoulders and began to heal the cuts and bruises. Byakuya couldn't help but loose an affected sigh as Renji's hands moved over the painful areas and addressed each. The redhead said nothing and kept his eyes focused on each area as he healed it. He climbed onto the bed and worked his way slowly over Byakuya's scratched shoulders and back, trying to keep his own reiatsu calm and marveling at how Byakuya sat so still and made no sound as he worked. He finished working on Byakuya's upper body and glanced at the noble questioningly.
"That will be fine, thank you," Byakuya said, dismissing him.
"But there was blood, Taichou," Renji said, shivering inside at the memory, "Shouldn't you at least...?"
"No," said Byakuya with finality, "Leave me."
Renji swallowed hard and hesitated, but then, nodded briefly, bowed and left the room. Byakuya sat on the bed, his upper body warm and comfortable, clashing harshly with the pain in the rest of him. He took a steadying breath and stood, intending to go and shower, but collapsed halfway there.
He woke up some time later, tucked warmly into bed and thoroughly healed, and found a cup of hot green tea at his bedside. He drank it slowly and drifted off to sleep again, but suffered nightmares that made continued sleep impossible, and got out of bed, and into the shower.
He tried again to remember anything from the night before, but saw only random flashes of things that he couldn't classify as real or dream. He did remember being at Hisana's grave, wandering for a time, and emerging from the forest near Aizen's cabin, but he had no memory of knocking on the door...or of meeting the man near the lake. There were flashes of fingers raking his skin, hard swells of pain and images of things he had looked at...a wooden chair...a fogged window with dark curtains...red bedding and dark, silken sheets his hands clenched in agony.
It was horridly violent...
He took a long breath and released it slowly, trying to let the memory escape with his breath.
It is over. Aizen taichou will not mention it to anyone, and he said that it wouldn't happen again, so it is over and best forgotten.
But a chill went through him as an unbidden thought entered his mind.
"No," he whispered, forcing the thought away.
That is not going to happen.
He knew better than to dishonor his clan again. He would bury the incident and let it go. There were enough other things to deal with that it would not, he thought, be hard to submerge it.
Yes, in the rush of things, it will disappear. I will ignore it.
He let the water running down his body, bear away the thoughts, and turned his mind back to Rukia.
What am I going to do about that?
Kami, I have no choice!
How can this be happening?
The water began to cool, and he imagined that Renji would soon become concerned enough to come in and check on him. He turned off the shower and dried off, relieved to see his body back in its normal, pristine condition. Ghosts of the pain from the incident still harried him, but he was much more able to conceal it as he dressed and walked out to the office.
He was careful not to speak to Renji, nor to look at him, or acknowledge him in any way. And the redhead was wary enough to leave him alone. They worked in silence for the rest of the day, then Byakuya excused Renji early and walked back home.
"Good evening, Kuchiki taichou," said Aizen, startling him.
He wondered why his heart beat so fast and his legs shook as the fifth division taichou smiled at him...and continued walking away.