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01 August 2012 @ 05:58 am
Dysfunction as Heritage [VII. Contrition]  
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. 

vi. one sentence | viii. shamisen

VII. Contrition

Almost immediately, she forgave her brother. For trying (swearing and determined) to kill her—and Ichigo. For half a century of wrongs and slights, however devoid of malice and intent.

She even forgave him for being the worst brother in history, a fact he very well knew.

It wasn't his mistreatment, his indifference. It wasn't her humiliation, the feeling of inadequacy or presumption—preemption. It was…nothing in particular. Byakuya simply felt nothing toward her other than a powerful, steadfast, and inexplicable sense of obligation.

A burden, albeit light, is a burden nonetheless.

And she was careful (self-loathing) enough not to forget it.


Perhaps it was merely his personality (she doubted it). Or maybe it was an inherent weakness within her. Either way, she never did deduce why he refused to look at her during all those years.

And then, everything changed that fateless, heartless day.


It bothered her.


Inexorable to the point that she could barely concentrate on anything else.

Rukia looked at her captain and cast the vagrant thought aside as nothing. Captain Ukitake was so kind and wonderful and truly a magnificent…something. Intense, she studied him, fitting together the mismatched and miscellaneous shapes. But still, she couldn't figure out what he was (to her and all of them).

"Something on your mind?"

"I was wondering if you could tell me what Nii-sama was like as a child."

Ukitake raised a skeptical brow.

"I heard the rumors," she hastily added.


Eventually, she contemplated conceding defeat and asking him directly. But Rukia then remember that nothing was simple when it came to her brother. And so, she reigned in her tongue.


She was grateful that Renji wasn't the type to hold grudges. Otherwise, the days after her near-execution and his almost-manslaughter would've been agonizing. But Renji shrugged the whole unpleasant business off and went about his duties like nothing had happened (still glorified his captain).

And even Ichigo seemed to have moved on without a second thought, a partial glance back. The fluttering beats of unresolved hesitancy and ten thousand questions left hovering in the empty wake.

She was glad his wounds healed up nicely ("see how neat the stitches are?" Inoue smiled) and that he wasn't plagued by pain.

Renji and Ichigo were masters at forgive and forget. And for that, she loved them both. Even if they might not have been completely voluntary.

Dauntless and blithe, they charged head-on, heel-flying.


It unsettled her, horrified and paralyzed her with venom tasting of honey and lilacs.

Nervously, Rukia scooped up the bouquet from her bed and set it aside.

For the past month, purple flowers greeted her every evening after she returned from work. Their petals matched the color of her eyes. Beautiful and somewhat understated. There was no note (no need).

Well, at least you know he's trying.

Less of an apology and more like an apologetic. Constant and devotional (almost votive).


He will never admit his guilt in words. But he showed it in a thousand other ways.