AN: Just some silliness for the day :) This update came as a result of the (always) motivating responses from readers and reviewers, and I know it's taken me awhile to get this chapter out, but I was hoping to only go bigger with this chapter, or at least match the weirdness that was the Chapter One. Once again, it was an absolute joy writing this.
I remind everyone that this story is rated M. After reading this chapter you will definitely see why this is rated M. Mostly for its all round creepiness (cheapness), but this is undoubtedly rated M.
Reader's discretion is advised.
Of Male Anatomy and Saving Water
Byakuya speculated on the most effective action that would promise infertility in the most painful way possible. 'Castration' was quick to dominate any logical thinking in his livid mind, but given that he had no form of weapon on him, he decided he would not resort to pulling it off. Not with his bare hands. 'Cutting his penis off' also took to the forefront of his enraged state, but he found that in his almost animalistic state of mind at that moment, cutting one's penis off was the sole definition of 'castration', and given the aforementioned reasons against it, it was also an unfeasible option. 'Pulling the thing off with his bare hands' seemed like the only viable alternative left, but as it were, he realised that doing so would do little to pacify the rage that had already engulfed his usual regal composure. So he decided he would simply kill the man.
'The body will be dumped at sea.'
That had to be the only thought that brought him the briefest moment of serenity that would explain why Byakuya hadn't already kicked down the door to his sister's bathroom, looking not so brotherly and ready to inflict irreparable damage at any moment's notice.
'It would be mutilated beyond recognition.'
That had to be the only calming thought that would subdue his desperate footsteps from walking to the kitchen and arming himself with weaponry to begin his pilgrimage of making the sexual predator fatherless and half man.
'And then, I will go after your family.'
So it was decided. This low-life, disgusting pathetic excuse of a man would finally drive Byakuya to his mobster ways, and now he was standing inside the hut of an apartment, three feet away from the only barrier separating him and scum, waiting to make a woman out of this man.
"Fine, use your hands then, just don't squeeze too hard." Byakuya took the moment to calm his breathing and reassess the situation as he listened to the distinctly male voice impatiently instruct.
"But it's so slippery now." He heard his sister's voice echo meekly in response.
"Well would you rather it hairy?" Byakuya's typically stoic face twitched, which was as equivalent to a contortion of repulsion as it would ever get.
"Fine, just.. just try touching it first, you might even like the smoothness of it." Ichigo tried, sounding slightly exasperated albeit increasingly persuasive.
"I doubt it. It's just so...long. Why can't you just do it?" She was caving and Byakuya slowly readied himself to wreak destruction.
"Because I won't be able to control my grip. I don't want to injure it." That sex fiend was that desperate he couldn't even do the deed himself.
"I've just never held one in my palm before.."
"Don't worry. This is a very natural thing. I'm right here to guide you."
"I'm not sure I can get it.. it's so small." Byakuya dismissed the upward twitch in the left corner of his lips and convinced himself he saw no humour in this whatsoever.
"It's not small! I've seen smaller, it's not small."
"Oh God, oh God, I'm holding it. I can feel it twitching.." Byakuya gripped the door knob too late.
"You're doing amazing, but your hands are too small, use both." The dark ominous clouds gathered.
"Is it supposed to be this hard?" Little animals scurried for safety.
"Sometimes. If it's nervous it'll stiffen up more." Mothers prayed.
The first thing to break was the door knob before the door itself was almost ripped off its hinges. With an aura that promised of endless pain, Byakuya stood before the occupants in the tiny bathroom as they both blinked at him. Rukia stared in horror as her small hands were held awkwardly in front of her with a stiffened baby snake in her palms. Nonetheless, despite his sister's certain welfare still intact, Byakuya had already decided that any man nearing his sister was better off 'offed'. As in, finger-across-neck-motion off. So the ominous aura remained.
"Hi, I'm Ichigo."
Death was approaching.
Her disastrous day had continued to mount when she had approached her apartment, expecting to repress the previous night's events for much later in her life when she would undoubtedly find herself adding the story to her growing list of misfortunes to her overpaid and underworked psychiatrist. Instead, she had watched in slow motion horror the turning of her door knob as the door flew open before she was dragged in like a ragdoll and pushed into her bathroom being demanded to save "God's creature". She hadn't known what had caused her greater anxiety, the poisonous baby snake that had lain stationary in her basin or the fact that Ichigo had seemed shamelessly entitled to her apartment.
One look at Ichigo and she decided that Ichigo could be standing next to a pit full of grown snakes and still be the cause of her premature hair loss.
It hadn't helped that Ichigo continued to shove her closer to the snake as though it posed no danger to her life. The situation definitely hadn't improved when in self-preservation she had pushed back as he had pushed her forward, ultimately leaving her back pressed up against his form amidst the chaotic yelling. And she felt everything. Everything. That had been motivation enough for her to leap forward and grab the snake. Of course it was here, after some questionable dialogue had been exchanged, and all higher spiritual beings decided that they had a sense of humour did they reveal to her the presence of her brother-in-law looking like he was standing in amidst a battlefield, ready for bloodshed.
That had been seven minutes ago. At current moment, her forehead was resting against the cupboards, waiting for the water to boil (or a hole to swallow her up, whichever came first) and listening to Ichigo drone on about god knows what with no inkling of the murderous aura that cloaked him as snugly as his robe.
"So if I adjust the warm handle first, wait for about 5 seconds, then turn on the cold water, the temperature should be about right. Well 5 to 10 seconds depending on the day's weather..."
"Groundbreaking. Who are you?"
"Brother!" Rukia intervened completely inconspicuously, what with the accompaniment of a jolt and a strangled cry, not to mention this was easily the fourteenth time she had randomly cried his name in a panicked rush. Absolute subtlety. "Your coffee." She sweat dropped, placing the aromatic black beverage atop the kotatsu from where he formally knelt, to which she found to her horror that Ichigo had mirrored his posture perfectly, sitting directly opposite her brother with his fists clenched above his parallel bent knees... under his scanty robe made of the finest cotton bed sheets.
Whether it was motivated by the novelty or by mockery, Rukia prayed to the Gods her brother took no notice, though knowing her great luck with bad luck, she was pretty sure Byakuya had seen it as the latter and Ichigo had done it for the former. And then to add insult to injury, Ichigo had felt the need to scrunch his face in repugnance as he eyed the coffee as one would to 'droppings'. At least he was civil enough to keep his thoughts silen-.
Maybe Ichigo was asking to be mauled? Who was she to decide his fate and in what gruesome manner he chose to leave this world?
"Byakuya." He corrected. Cue in background flash of lightning and thunder.
"What brings you here Brother Byakuya?" Ichigo asked so cluelessly Rukia almost wanted to crawl over from her spot between the two men, cradle his head between her modest chest and tell him that monsters only existed in stories.
But the desire to whip her baseball bat across his head for his profound stupidity lured her like nothing else.
"What is the meaning of this Rukia?" Byakuya finally managed through clenched teeth and the beginnings of a tumor.
Ichigo was not in the least bit perturbed that he had been blatantly ignored as he watched with curious eyes at Rukia, then at Byakuya, then back at Rukia before he reached for the spoon on the kotatsu and welcomed himself to more strawberry jam.
"Ichigo is a friend from out of town," She tried, ignoring the slight trembling in her nervous voice, "he's only going to stay for a couple of days.."
She realllllly hoped her answer would pacify her brother-
"You are unmarried and young. How will this look to your suitors asking for your hand?" Byakuya chastised firmly as he kept his eyes tightly on the orange-haired thug shoving spoonfuls of that repulsive red substance into his mouth.
Ichigo's eyes however, quickly darted to Rukia's small hands and wondered why anyone would want them.
"The truth is," Rukia sighed and prayed that karma wouldn't come to bite her in the ass for what she was about to say. Leaning closer to Byakuya she spoke solemnly, "Ichigo... how do I put this...he's NQR."
Byakuya frowned in slight apprehension and suspicion, "NQR." He repeated slowly for confirmation
To which Rukia merely mouthed back in affirmation, "Not quite right." And nodded her head sadly.
Byakuya reassessed the man before him from down his nose and, after taking into account the man's choice of clothing, choice of sustenance, hair colour and his general...weirdness, Byakuya decided Rukia's story checked out. Byakuya tried to ignore the slight embarrassment for not realising earlier when it was so blatantly obvious that the man was mentally lacking, and slight guilt for having treated a sick person so ruthlessly cold.
Bowing his head at Ichigo very slightly as his sign of peace-making, Byakuya offered, "You are brave."
Thinking that brother was referring to the snake, Ichigo replied, "Thank-you."
Releasing a breath she hadn't realised she had been holding, Rukia laughed nervously as she deviated from the topic in fear that Ichigo and his infinite wisdom would somehow blow her cover.
"Brother, what brings you to this part of town?"
Feeling shameless and completely entitled to his intrusion of Rukia's privacy, he answered bluntly, "My private detective informed me of a questionable man loitering in your apartment, so I decided I would sort the matter out."
Rukia's mouth fell agape as she looked at her brother with deadpanned eyes, not quite certain which disturbed her more, that her brother had a private investigator on her tail or that her brother was capable of 'sorting matters out'. Again, finger-across-neck-motion 'sorting matters out'.
She was somewhat relieved that Ichigo had decided to add his input at this point because she was pretty sure her brain was beginning to function at minimal level, just barely enough to keep her slightly less NQR than Ichigo.
"I wish I had a dick too."
Judging from the sturdiness of the kotatsu and the estimated distance between the table and her head, given the right amount of velocity, it should be able to render her unconscious and if she was lucky, inflict permanent memory loss. Well here goes nothing...
"Brother Byakuya, how long have you had your dick for?"
"Ichigo!" Rukia shrieked in horror.
Ichigo flinched away from the small raven-head, "What?" He asked defensively, wondering what he had done wrong. Again.
"It's alright Rukia." Byakuya spoke forgivingly as he cleared his throat behind his fist, "It's merely slang for detective."
But it still did little to appease the growing urge to haul the berry through her glass windows and into oncoming traffic, and by the looks of it, it didn't seem like Byakuya would've minded being run over by some 1-tonne metals just about now.
Too educated and upper-class to discriminate, Byakuya spoke evenly – a stark contrast to the pain inflicted on his pride. "I've had my detective for some time now. They cost a lot to hire, so I don't like to gamble on inadequate ones." He chose his words carefully, though to Rukia, it still sounded like a cheap pick-up line in a gay bar.
"Oh." Ichigo mumbled, slightly crestfallen, "I don't have any money right now.." and with a one shoulder shrug, he scrapped the remnants of the jam against the bottom of the glass jar, creating noise horrific enough for Byakuya to flinch backwards.
"How is Hisana?" Rukia tried to steer the conversation closer to normalcy, "Still busy with the art studio?"
Byakuya nodded, "She was about to close the studio one month ago, but she managed a substantial offer on some of her paintings."
"Private buyer?" By private buyer, she meant 'Byakuya'.
"Yes." By yes, he meant, 'not a word'.
"How lucky." By how lucky, she meant 'you're a good husband'.
"Perhaps it was just meant to be, I don't think it was her time to finish something she loved doing so much." By all that, he meant...well she didn't really know what he meant, and when she looked at him for clarification, he simply sipped his coffee, which again earned a 'yuck' from Ichigo.
Calmly placing the cup back onto its matching saucer, Byakuya made a move to stand, "It's getting late, I should take my leave now."
The sun had yet to set, and it really was only 5.30pm, but deep down somehow Rukia knew that her brother's feelings had been slightly hurt for his choice of beverage (as well as irreparable destruction to his dignity), and was therefore making a hasty exit.
Standing with him, both Rukia and Ichigo walked him to the door, a grand fifteen strides, before Byakuya turned, with strain, to face the two, "I'll see you soon Rukia," and then looked at Ichigo, with effort, "All the best."
After such a nice conversation with brother, Ichigo felt like he needed to say something too.
"Brother Byakuya, when I have some money, I'll be sure to use your dick."
Night had uneventfully fallen and Rukia's apartment was finally engulfed in tranquillity as the heaters brought about a warm and cosy atmosphere to their newly shared living space. After one of the most scarring moments in her entire life, Rukia had secluded herself to her happy place in her mind, where Ichigo didn't exist and her bedroom wasn't a mixture of her dining and living room. Ichigo, without missing a beat, droned on about something else the moment Byakuya closed the door behind him as though his being there was wholly natural. But since Rukia had managed to zone him out, she had merely brushed past him as he too followed her lead and walked back to the kotatsu and switched on the TV.
Not quite realising that his company was completely unwanted and his conversation unreciprocated, he remained pleasant as he watched with fascination at the moving pictures on the TV screen. Rukia, on the other hand, had continued on aimlessly around her own apartment without uttering a word and her face an expression of indifference. When her peripheral vision spotted the very thing she was in search of, she walked over like a child possessed. When she finally smiled, it wasn't without her baseball bat firmly in her right hand.
At present, two hours, and several neighbours knocking on the door after hearing cries of help, later, Rukia sat alone by the kotatsu as Ichigo sat near the doorway.
"Not. One. Word."
Ichigo dipped his head a little as he nursed his wounds wherever the baseball bat managed to get. And to think it had been nothing but a prop.
Finally fed up with pretending to watch the news, Rukia made a guttural noise of frustration before she buried her head in her hands and groaned, "Why me?"
Ichigo peeked up but didn't say another thing. The baseball bat had taught him better.
When Rukia suddenly heard a knocking sound, she looked up to see Ichigo knocking against the wall before waving at her as he started miming 'What's wrong?'.
Rolling her eyes in exasperation, she wondered why she even bothered fighting against him. He was frustratingly indestructible. Or destructible, but always bounced right back after enough time. "You mean you didn't see how my brother looked as us like we were some kind of freak show?" She reminded sarcastically.
"Ah." He responded profoundly.
Dipping her head back into her hands, she moped out, "After I was fired as well."
Pillowing her head against her now folded arms on the kotatsu, she drawled out sarcastically, "Gee, thanks for your comforting words."
"Oh. Can I come back to the table now? It's kinda cold here."
"Whatever." She deadpanned, feeling more exhausted than she could ever remember as her eyes glazed over at the television screen.
With a triumphant smile, Ichigo quickly made his way from the doorway and crawled his bottom half under the kotatsu and instantly moaned at the warmth that enveloped his scantily clad body.
"And you're still here." She added as an afterthought, though she was a little disappointed that it lacked the bite that she was hoping to achieve, and ultimately came out sounding as though she was just stating a fact.
"So why were you fired?" Ichigo asked, a little more focused now that he was more comfortable.
She made a noise of disgust before she replied, still facing away from him so her voice was slightly muffled, "Because I refuse to kiss ass."
"Ew." Was all he could offer at the unwanted imagery, or wanted – just not with another man, as he too continued to watch the TV.
"Well you should see my boss then, he's the ugliest thing on earth, so ugly you'll probably cry after you see him."
"Really?" He asked although he really didn't care that much.
"Nah, not really." She admitted moodily, "He's actually not bad looking. Kinda hot in an 'I'm secretly a bad guy' kind of way."
"What's his name?"
"Aizen Sousuke." She answered flatly.
"Why'd he fire you?"
She shuddered having to recall the memory, "The perv was trying to hit on me, and I didn't respond well to his advances, so he fired me. Just like that, on the spot."
"Right." Ichigo replied calmly, eerily so, "What'd you say his name was again?"
"Aizen Sousuke. Ugh I wish he would just fall off a bridge or something. Wipe that smug smirk of his weirdly slicked-back haired face."
"I could wash the dishes for you if that would make you feel better?" Even though 'dishes' only comprised of two bowls and two spoons, Ichigo was still hoping she would decline his offer. He really had no idea how to do it but it just sounded like the right thing to say. Plus he really was just comfortable where he was.
"Nah. You'll probably just waste too much water." She stated as a matter-of-factly, before she pushed herself up, with apparent effort, "I'm going to take a shower. Just leave the bowls, I'll deal with them later." She said before she discreetly made a grab for her underwear in one of her drawers, to which Ichigo noted through his equally discreet peripheral vision that her middle drawer was the drawer that encompassed his interest.
But Rukia didn't hear him as she was already closing the half broken bathroom door as he spoke. The moment the door was closed, she wasted no time in stripping as she eagerly anticipated the strong spray of the hot water coursing down her body which she hoped would alleviate some of her stress. Stepping out of her underwear and adjusting the water temperature so that it was hot enough, she quickly stepped in and moaned at the instant gratification it brought her. She was particularly pleased that the spray was so strong, it was loud enough to empty her mind of her thoughts.
Reaching for the shampoo, she smiled at the softly scented smell of sweetness before lathering her short hair enough that droplets of white suds were beginning to gather by the drain. She was so content she couldn't even care anymore that she had basically had a new housemate forced upon her, nor did she care that she would officially be unemployed as of tomorrow, even the baby snake that lain in wait by the edge of the far end of the bathtub didn't bother her...
Oh boy. Ohboyohboyohboy.
Going through a quick rundown of her options and finding none viable, she stuffed everything to hell.
She vaguely heard a commotion outside before a somewhat panicked "What? What's wrong?" sounded through the door.
"The snake!" Her voice trembled in panic, "I dropped it before! It's still here and it's looking at me! It knows it's me, it knows!"
"Okay, just calm down and grab it like I told you before." His muffled voice said through the door.
"I can't, I can't do it again! And I can't get to my clothes!"
"Fine. I'm coming in then."
"NO! Wait! I'm naked!"
"It's that or you shower with the baby snake. Your pick."
Squeezing her eyes shut and knowing this was a lose-lose situation for her, she turned around so that all he would see was her backside, and inched further away from the end of the bathtub, "O-okay, come in."
Not a second had passed before she heard the door creak open, and in less than twenty seconds, she heard him reassure, "I got it", and in the next five seconds, she faintly heard the door close again. Opening her eyes in shock, before thinking this was too easy and good to be true, she peeked over her shoulder only to confirm that he had indeed captured the baby snake (which he may have accidentally suffocated with his strength) and without trying anything, left her to her solitude.
She was touched. Maybe something good did come out of this day. Maybe he wasn't so bad. And maybe, he really was excruciatingly handsome. Damn him.
Reaching for the conditioner and continuing her routine with slightly lifted spirits, she again felt like nothing could dampen her mood, not the debacle with her brother and not even the arm reaching over her shoulder to reach for the shampoo.
Her stricken eyes widened in horror.
Definitely too good to be true.
The next thing she unleashed was a scream so loud, her neighbours were sure to bypass knocking on her door and going straight to calling the police.
"What?" Ichigo immediately responded urgently, pausing mid way through shampooing his hair as she clenched her eyes shut and quickly covered as much as herself as she could.
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHAT? GET OUT!"
"But why?" He asked, as though it was the most reasonable thing for him to be there, "You said before you don't want me wasting water, so when I walked in here before, it gave me the idea that if we showered together we would save some water."
Reaching over her again to put the shampoo back on the ledge, the entirety of his front pressed against her back, she felt it brush against her lower back.
'Fuck' she heard him hiss discreetly.
That was it. There was only so much spit in the face she could take from the higher spiritual beings before even a sane person would lose it.
Grabbing the shampoo with force and instantly squeezing a substantial amount into her palm, she mumbled an apology before turning around to face him.
"Wow." But his eyes were far from her face, farrr lower.
And the next thing he knew, he was shrieking like a banshee.
Ten minutes and a pair of blood shot eyes later, Ichigo was glaring moodily at the TV as he sat cross legged by the kotatsu with his hands resting defensively in his lap... his hair still wet with uneven chunks of shampoo.
"I'm sorry I rubbed soap in your eyes." Rukia tried uneasily, sitting adjacent to him on the kotatsu, "But you shouldn't have been in there when I was showering." As much as she didn't quite regret her actions, she did feel pretty guilty for the harm inflicted on his now constantly stinging eyes.
"From where I come from, a man and a woman bathing together is a very natural thing." Clearly still quite upset.
Despite the fact that he almost always brought about near fatal cardiac arrests on her, she couldn't fault him on his harmless intentions. So instead of cornering him and demanding to know exactly where he was from, she merely conceded with an, "I'm sorry alright?"
"I hope you know that any chance you had with sleeping with me tonight has dropped from 'guaranteed' to only 'highly probable'." He said, thinking that the punishment would fuel on her regret, "And don't even think about sex."
Slow breathing. Slooow breathing. NQR. Slooowww breathing.
She would take the high road. The man was indestructible and profound in his art of stupidity. Undefeatable. Weirdo. High road. Happy place.
Glad for the tell-tale sound of a news break, both occupants directed their attention to the TV, exceedingly relieved that the distraction came when it did.
"We interrupt this broadcast with a special bulletin. A man in his early thirties has fallen off the walkway bridge, the Yachiru Bridge. Eyewitnesses claim the man tripped before falling into the riverbank. He has since been rescued and has been examined for minor injuries. We have contacted the mayor Mr. Ukitake who has issued a statement reassuring that safety precautions are unnecessary as there have been no accidents along this bridge in the history of Tokyo, and has gone on to say that tonight's occurrence was an unnatural act of unluckiness. That may be true, but Aizen Sousuke may count himself lucky tonight for sustaining only minor scrapes and bruises. This has been Matsumoto Rangiku reporting to you live. Good night."
After a few minutes of silence, Rukia's jaw finally dropped, "I think I have super powers." She breathed out unbelievingly.
"Mm." Ichigo grunted, still quite content to keep to his sulking.
Some hours later and Ichigo still milking his moment of the unjustness of the world that he now bore on his shoulders (in his mind), the dark ominous cloud returned.
Rukia wondered what choices she had available to her that would leave Ichigo begging for mercy in the most pathetic way possible. 'Reaching for the baseball bat' was the first to- forget it. She was done with today.
At the age of twenty-two, on a winter's night, Rukia had walked out of the bathroom after her pre-bed routine to find an orange-haired pervert looking through her middle drawer with her favourite pink chappy panties held securely in his left fist...his eyes wide and innocent as the day he was born.
"...I forgive you Rukia."
Death had arrived.