A/N: I hope you enjoy this story as much as I will writing it. If you do not like these pairings, or you do not like the character plots, then do not read.

DISCLAIMER: All is owned by Tite Kubo.


CHAPTER 12

A War Has Begun


Orihime watched Rukia carefully. She couldn't take her eyes off of the raven haired female for even a second. "Rukia, don't do this. I know there is still good in you." Orihime tried to appeal to her opponents good side.

"To repeat your words, 'You don't know me anymore.'" Rukia said, lunging for Orihime, to strike her. Fortunately, Orihime was ready and deflected the blow.

"RUKIA! THIS ISN'T LIKE YOU! PLEASE LISTEN TO REASON!" Orihime pleaded.

"NO! I'M SICK OF EVERYONE FALLING OVER THEMSELVES SO THEY ARE AT YOUR BECK AND CALL! WHAT ABOUT ME!? WHAT DID I GET!? A PAT ON THE BACK AND A 'GOOD JOB, KUCHIKI!' THE ONLY PERSON WHO NEVER DID THAT WAS RENJI! SO I WANTED TO GET REVENGE ON YOU. I MARRIED ICHIGO TO ANGER YOU! I RUINED YOUR LIFE HERE AND MADE YOU OUT TO BE THE BAD ONE! I CAN'T TAKE IT!" Rukia screamed, all the while throwing blow after blow at Orihime's sword.

"I LEFT TO GET AWAY FROM IT. I DIDN'T WANT TO BE HELD AS THE FRAGILE IMAGE. RUKIA! I LOOKED UP TO YOU! HOW STRONG YOU WERE! HOW YOU DIDN'T TAKE NOTHING FROM NOBODY! I ADMIRED YOU AND CHERISHED OUR FRIENDSHIP! WE ONLY HAD ONE PART OF THE STORY WHICH BOTH OF US ACTED ON." Orihime yelled back, deflecting each blow that Rukia delivered, one more fatal than the next.

"SANTEN KESSHUN!" Orihime called out and a barrier surrounded Orihime, protecting her from Rukia's rage.

"INOUE!" Rukia screamed, hitting against the barrier. "FIGHT ME!" Orihime saw the tears in Rukia's eyes, those same droplets rolling down her cheeks, then Rukia's sword turned toward's its master and violet eyes widened with shock and terror, just before the sword plunged itself into Rukia's stomach.

"RUKIA!" Orihime screamed, releasing her Santen Kesshun. She grabbed the hilt of Rukia's sword and pulled it out, the used her Soten Kesshun to save Rukia.

"Orihime..." Rukia whispered. "What happened?"

Orihime was confused, but Rukia's genuine eyes melted another portion of the ice around her heart. "I'll explain later, Rukia. Just rest and let me heal you." Orihime said gently, sounding like her old self. Rukia nodded weakly and her lids closed over violet eyes and she rested.

It wasn't long before everyone she called had arrived and surveyed the scene. Ichigo ran towards Rukia, not noticing her condition when Orihime called to him. "Ichigo don't! I'm healing her!"

Ichigo looked stunned from Orihime's turn of mind. One minute she wanted to savagely murder the woman for ruining her life, the next she was trying to save her. "Why are you healing her? After all the pain she's caused."

"Ichigo..I caused her pain. I caused that suffering inside her, just as she caused suffering in me. We were both the cause of our demises. She envied me because I was pretty. I envied Rukia because she was strong, and we clashed." Orihime said, watching Rukia's face. "I will save her, and then I will kill who ruined her." Orihime said and she looked up, her eyes swimming with tears. "I need to save her."


Rukia was still unconscious when they had let her rest in Urahara's shop, Orihime beside on another futon had fallen into an exhausted sleep. Ichigo watched her closely, also watching over Tatsuki who Urahara had thawed the ice and proceeded to get Tatsuki warm.

Rukia had a lot of explaining to do.

Orihime stirred and her eyes opened, her stormy eyes glazed with sleep, her hair messy and tangled about her face. Ichigo stared at his beautiful Goddess and smiled softly, looking upon her moment of vulnerability, he remembered all the times back in high school, how young and naive they all were.

"Orihime, is it time?" Kaien asked softly, the carbon copy of Ichigo smiled, his blue eues twinkling with warmth and tenderness, black shaggy hair falling into those blue eyes. If only he had orange hair and warm chocolate eyes, then she would truly be happy to see him.

Orihime sat up and rubbed her eyes, looking over at her fallen friend, Rukia looked so peaceful, almost angelic against the golden glow of the healing Shun Shun Rikka.

Orihime sighed and the fairies disappeared, turning back into the snowflake earrings on her left earlobe.

Rukia's eyes fluttered, the Soul Reaper waking up from her long sleep. "Orihime.." Rukia called croakily. Orihime was next to her in a flash, which only angered Ichigo.

"I'm here, Rukia." Orihime said, looking upon the young woman kindly, as a mother would her children.

Rukia's violet eyes opened and they shimmered with tears. "What have I done? I'm such a horrible person, that wasn't me acting, it was something else, I couldn't control myself." Rukia spoke, her voice shaky and breaking.

Orihime lifted the thin body from the futon and held the distraught Rukia in her arms, rubbing her back while she cried, rocking her back and forth. "Shhh...shhh, it's alright, you're safe now."

Kaien turned to Isshin and Ichigo "We should search the area where they battled, perhaps what Rukia said was controlling her might have fallen off if it was some kind of possessed accessory."

As usual, Ichigo protested.

"Why the hell are we helping her? This part of the story isn't valid, it's been used too many times. Every single mass murderer and rapist out there uses it. Something was controlling me." Ichigo snarled, his rage boiling to the height of where his Hollow could easily take over his body.

"Ichigo, for once in your life, listen to someone who's older than you." Isshin rebuked his son, his hard gray eyes stared sternly at his son, the shock on Ichigo's face made Isshin uncomfortable, but it had to be done.

"Lets suit up and lets get going." Kaien said and Ichigo walked to Orihime, staying well away from Rukia, but he gave Orihime a soft kiss on her forehead and the three men walked out.

The three strongest members of the Shiba clan.


Kaien surveyed the scene, the ground cracked and upturned, snow and ice melting against the ground, lingering Spiritual Pressure of Orihime and Rukia.

Kaien jumped and landed on the rooftop, looking hard. "Anything down there?" He called to Isshin and Ichigo. Isshin shook his head and Ichigo was staring at someting, like a badge.

"Ichigo, what did you find?" Kaien asked, jumping from his place on the rooftop and walked to Ichigo.

"It's some kind of badge, made from a Hollow mask.. it's Spiritual Pressure is strong." Ichigo looked up at Kaien with confused eyes.

"What..I don't understand...I mean, you're father filled me in about everything, but...I thought only an Arrancar has this kind of ability, to transform from Vasto Lordes, into their human form." Kaien touched the badge and the power zapped his fingers, scorching his fingertips.

"Unless it wasn't an Arrancar's power. An Arrancar could have slipped it into Rukia and she absorbed that twisted power. But what if it was someone stronger. Someone who should be dead." Ichigo concluded, looking up into the worried gazes of Kaien and Isshin.

"What if it was Aizen executing this plan?" Ichigo asked and his heart raced. Aizen wants revenge, and he is targeting his dearest friends.

"Orihime.." Ichigo whispered.


HEY GUYS! RIKOREN here!

I hope you like this new chapter of Cold Heart, I know it took me forever.

Read it and weep peoples!

ARIGATO!

RIKOREN