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03 July 2012 @ 05:16 pm
Dysfunction as Heritage [Byakuya/Rukia] [Chapter 2]  
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. 

A/N: I have no idea what's going on either. This is just a bunch of random, jumbled thoughts in my head.

chapter 1 || chapter 3




II. Bequest

When Hisana died, she injected him with grief and the rotting memento of her guilt.

Guilt had consumed her, interred her while manacled (gasping), and ultimately pinched her out. Guilt was a voracious lover, insatiable, and pleaded to be hung. Fucked harder than anything else and fuck

(sans remorse)

oh fuck, what now?—

It bit back with a curse. Between the fangs.

In the festering recess crypts of his mind (the lacuna oxidized), a scene was trapped on rewind. Hisana was dying, and he was gutted. 

Pale and trembling, she asked him one final request.

(Last Rites: Only The Dead Comes To Claim)

She had grown frail and finely aged with the sickness. Spidery lines traversed her forehead. Her brows met in sorrow, in regret. Once more, she was ridden with guilt. Crippled, Hisana surrendered at last. But she remained resilient, almost defiant.

In this moment, they were reversed. Like he was ill (sick still, forever will). And she was strong, shouldering them both.

Byakuya agreed. He will find the other.

. . .

Rukia returned from the living in a daze—to die a second time. Energy fading, she was a puppet with its strings shorn short (of manipulation, he was familiar). Something had happened in the human world. Made her so unnaturally upset.

Her sentiments (resentment) toward humans was not uncommon, was not empty. They were breathing and she, well—like him—had already kissed the guillotine.

He thought of questioning her but refrained in the end. An interrogation would only rupture in a dizzy front-line assault. It wasn’t a mistake he was willing to make (not a second time). And so, they ignored each other for weeks. This—the practice, the automatic plunge—had become ritualistic. Caustic: like inhaling metallic, acrid dust in the heart of a desert-winter.

But by the fifth week, Byakuya had endured enough of her foolishness. Resolved, he rapped on her door. He will smother an answer out of her.

She did not respond.

“Rukia,” he said.

Nothing.

He tried again, one-two-three times more. In rapid succession, he confronted a high, blank wall.

She had shut herself, drugged on an emancipation subverted.

Coldness, you see, is measured in reciprocity. Effective only when there are two at play.

. . .

Kaien was a good man.

Valorous, selfless, and eternally damned. He was the threadbare portrait of what an older brother should be. An ugly reminder of what all the others lacked.  For that, Byakuya hated him.

. . .

Unremitting in her praise, love, adoration, one and all, Rukia zeroed in on the meaning of hero worship.

Byakuya observed her training with Kaien. Her lieutenant was a tyrant, formidable in his pandemonium. But Rukia took all his brutality in and honed the shards into a sleek, cool blade. She was gaining speed, catching a storm.

“Good! Watch carefully, Rukia. Your zanpakutou is not an outsider. It must move with you.”

“Yes, sir!”

Kaien slashed and hacked with a grace beyond him. Fairylike, he practically danced.

“Rukia!”

Sprawled in the dust, she vomited lungs.

For a tiny brief second, Byakuya felt his body lean forward, reaching—almost yet not quite—toward her. And then, the strangeness (seizure) ceased, and he was released.

Scooping her up, Kaien helped her stand. “Rukia, are you all right?”

“I’m fine. Sorry, I…I wasn’t prepared. I apologize.”

“It’s okay. We’ll try again. You swung too wide, that’s why you couldn’t block my attack.”

They picked up from where she failed. This time, she easily evaded the blow.

Satisfied, Byakuya left.  She had improved.

(And he’d been usurped.)

. . .

Happiness was a hallucination overthrown. Something feeble, unpredictable. From its make-believe perch, it mocked.

Long ago, he used to think it possible.

Quelled and sealed, happiness disintegrated into an unreal distraction. In the jungle of hollow bones and mutilated gods, it will ferment. This so-spoke as purgatory.

“Upholding order and maintain the law. They are the two principles a noble must abide.”

Nodding, Rukia swallowed hard.

. . .

Yesterday, he taught her temperance.

Today, he instructed her on honor.

Tomorrow, he will instill her with sacrifice.

. . .

Kaien didn’t like him, and Byakuya wasn’t oblivious. So, when Kaien visited him at the Sixth Division, Byakuya was unpleasantly amazed.

“I’m here to talk to you about Rukia,” Kaien stated.

Plain, loutish, minus the finesse of an artful preamble. Unraveled like a gaunt, blunt declaration of war. Byakuya narrowed his eyes just slightly and let his contempt slip through to a marginal degree.

Amused by the man’s audacity, Byakuya decided to humor him. “I am inclined to have you removed, lieutenant. But I’m sure even that won’t stop you.”

“Hell yeah, it won’t. You really are the worst brother. You have no right to call her a sister.”

“You are correct—she is not. I merely gave her my name.”

Exploding in anger (guts puckering, saluting for combat), Kaien fired off his lecture. He’d been prepared, knew this was coming. Byakuya was a pompous little shit, deserving a beating. Maybe two. But now:

(sweat beads
inching—
down)

Kaien hesitated. It didn’t seem like such a fantastic idea. Only, retrospection was for the blind, the pained.

“She’s lived with you for years. Yet, you don’t know a thing about her. Do you know what she thinks of you? She’s terrified of you. She thinks she’s constantly disappointing you. She thinks you despise her. But you don’t seem to care.”

“Was that all?”

No. “Yes.”

Kaien started for the door, affording one final glance back. Byakuya was inscrutable. A fortress of marble. Kaien shook his head. It really wasn’t his business, he supposed.

Except—

What is she to you?
A promise: nothing more.

Two weeks later, Kaien was dead. Rukia killed (sanctified) him, or so the official report said.

. . .

Kaien’s death soon became public news (fodder for the gossips). And Rukia acquired the habit of crying late into the night. She had inherited the tenor of guilt from her sister.

Across the manor, Byakuya heard her unwind in long, guttural aches. Low-pitched and raw, her sobbing rippled in currents. Like the aged brine at the bottom of an oak barrel, the salty smell of her tears inundated the house, sprawling over halls and courtyards.

Byakuya knew he should say something to her. He was a master at mourning. But solace was not his forte. And he wasn’t really her brother.

Not now, not ever.


 
 
 
vince_moon: Bleach Rukia Kuchiki 1vince_moon on July 3rd, 2012 10:28 pm (UTC)
I loved how this went back in forth, it seemed very even.

I hope there will be more chapters. :)