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29 June 2012 @ 09:14 pm
Dysfunction as Heritage [Byakuya/Rukia] [Chapter 1]  
Title: Dysfunction as Heritage
Pairing: Byakuya/Rukia-ish(???) with cameos of other pairings
Fandom: Bleach
Genre: Drama, angst, "family issues," backstory, futurefic, romance, friendship
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Not all legacies are noble. Byakuya learns this the hard way. Series of semi-related oneshots. 

chapter 2



I. Inferno



"I come from a place whither I desire to return."



Rukongai was an ugly place. Rumbled like a lion's belly and bleaker than betrayal, it was a site where the dead crawled on their white-peeled bones.



Rukia proudly flaunted her lawless hunger for the world to see.



She surprised him at their first meeting. Immediately, he regretted adopting her.



It had been a rash, reckless, and impossibly agonizing decision. Gone to hell and retrieved her from the poisonous pincers of a wasteland-keeper (she called him teacher). The Elders were furious. Grandfather was mutual, wryly amused (gone soft in his old age).



And so, burying a valley of doubt, Byakuya stole her from the Academy.



--



Rukia was deeply unhappy with him and morbidly aggravated. But she did not say (she never would). Despite the brave façade she fashioned, he still traced her bitterness to the source. Her confusion, apprehension, and fear. He knew them all, counted each one like petals on a flower.



Mute and uncertain, Rukia stared at him from across the table. It was their first meal together in the three months since she took his name. She couldn't fathom why he adopted her or what he wanted (expected) from her.



why am I here and why are you—



He was not being intentionally cruel, wanted to explain—



Then all the years saturated him like a sudden storm with flashing teeth. Hisana will always have an unyielding hold over him. Sometimes, he wondered why he didn't resent her for it.



But for now, Byakuya kept his silence.



--



Today, she will grind him to dust. Victoriously, she will tower over him and smile in that elusive, discreet way of hers. And she will say I've got you.



However, today was not there yet.



Exasperated, Rukia sighed and grudgingly returned to her calligraphy.


--



It's because—it must be—she looks so much like her.



It's sick (must be it). It's an unwanted, mistaken gesture of projected sacrifice.




He thinks he's doing her a favor…like a sort…



(short) of savior




...She's really distressed….oh, see that?—how sad.



--



She asked him who was the woman in the painting and why does she look just like me?



Meeting her gaze, he parried her confrontation.



"Have you finished your lessons?"



Blushing, Rukia murmured no and excused herself.



--



Adamant, Byakuya mildly suggested to Ukitake to keep her from attaining a seated position. Only (he gripped the pen harder) the comment erupted as a brusque order. Surprised, Ukitake nonetheless agreed.



Byakuya heard their secret thoughts, what they suspect and have prematurely conjectured as some symptom of vast, uncharted grief. He's gone mad. The objections to her adoption and subsequent graduation and instatement as a shinigami transcended the boundaries of clan. Of family, of—



"Blood is thicker than water. But in your case, I really do wonder," Ukitake said cryptically.



"She is not ready to take on such a great responsibility," Byakuya continued. "She has much to learn."



"Don't you think you're being a bit overprotective? She deserves at least a fourth seat. Despite not having finished her courses at the academy, she is formidable in kidou."



"I have given you my opinion. Ultimately the decision, of course, is yours to make."



Hesitant but resolved, Ukitake said no more on the subject. He knew when to let sleeping dragons lie. But they, like all misshapen desires and coiled beasts, will eventually rebel.



All in good time.



--



He seldom interacted with her. He was a captain, after all, and the house was immense (strangled with ghosts). On the rare occasions that they spoke, she perpetually seemed afraid, diffident. So, he would let her go after the customary inquiries were exchanged.



Watching her hurry away, he'd be hit by a sudden deluge of annoyance. He could never figure out why.



And his strange irritation would flare up again, twice as deadly, whenever she snuck out to meet her childhood friend. The red-headed one. He was to blame.



--



Byakuya waited for her to go, to retreat and dissipate into the oblivion of cell phones and video games. Rukia waved goodbye, unable to hide her grin. Her zanpakutou twitched from excitement. Back rigid and heart was taut, she passed through the portal.



Tonight, she will enter the human realm for the first time since her death.



The manor will be quiet again and somehow even lonelier.

 
 
 
vince_moon: Bleach Rukia and Renjivince_moon on June 30th, 2012 02:34 am (UTC)
This is an amazing story. I really enjoyed reading it.
Y U no auto-translate?lye_tea on June 30th, 2012 02:34 am (UTC)
Glad you liked. :)