Jenn (ink_magic) wrote in starry_ink,
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You Would Never Betray Me (Bleach, ByakuRuki, Prompt 13)

Title: You Would Never Betray Me
Author/Artist: arizaki_shisaku 
Pairing: Kuchiki Byakuya x Kuchiki Rukia
Fandom: Bleach
Theme: #13 - A Knife to the Heart
Disclaimer: Bleach and all of its characters belong to Kubo Tite.
A/N: Really bad. I tried. Written at the request of Semper Fidelis OTP on FF.net.

written for 30_tears 

Prompt 13 - A Knife to the Heart

The first thing Rukia noticed as she stepped into the clearing was that the clouds teemed in the sky, converging all into a shapeless grey mass that had an aura around it, and made her bite her lip in a grimace.

This very field looked like a prime breeding site for Menos Grandes.

From the fog and mist in the heavy, humid air, Rukia guessed two things – that the Menos Grandes had been here quite recently, and that there was a 97% chance that it was going to rain.

Rukia hated rain. It interfered with her reiatsu, making it crackle weirdly and do things with Sode no Shirayuki that she didn’t want done. Sadly, she wasn’t as apt with the zanpakuto yet, like Hitsugaya-taichou and his Hyourinmaru, to actually change the weather.

“Looks like rain,” a voice grumpily observed from behind her.

She turned and at first, she didn’t see anything but a shock of unruly white hair before she looked down and saw grouchy turquoise eyes.

“Aa, Hitsugaya-taichou.” She worriedly looked out at the sky again, the best she could, through the silvery mist and the fog that seemed to cling to her face. “Demo…won’t the rain interfere with Hyourinamru’s bankai…?”

Hitsugaya-taichou opened his mouth to reply, but before he could, another voice smoothly cut in.

“Don’t even think about lowering the temperature and turning the rain into snow or ice. Rain, we can deal with. But once it starts to snow you know very well that the snow screws up my bankai and it stays screwed up for weeks.”

Hitsugaya-taichou immediately scowled at the newcomer, Rukia’s nii-sama, Kuchiki-taichou himself.

“That last time with Senbonzakura and Hyourinmaru was an accident,” Hitsugaya-taichou said rather petulantly. “I’m sure there’ll be no harm in just a few snowflakes—”

“A few snowflakes, as you put it, interferes with my reiatsu concentration and freezes my sakura petals to nearly the point of immobility,” Byakuya retorted, his voice dropping another dangerous notch.

“But Hyourinmaru’s bankai is weaker at higher temperatures…”

“My bankai is obviously stronger and more effective against Hollows and Menos Grandes – when and if they come.”

Rukia decided to leave the two captains at it, hearing Hitsugaya-taichou grumbling something that sounded suspiciously like “don’t humor yourself” under his breath. Instead, she busied herself with focusing her reiatsu, falling inside her mind and channeling all of her energy to Sode no Shirayuki, who hummed with anticipation.

Hitsugaya-taichou’s voice, sullen and reluctant, broke into her thoughts, saying, “Fine, I won’t drop the damn temperature.”

Rukia could almost see the smug smile that tickled the corners of Byakuya’s mouth (because Byakuya being Byakuya, he couldn’t just smile outright like normal people) before lightly saying, “Watch your mouth, Hitsugaya.”

Hitsugaya-taichou “tch”-ed and Rukia heard him storm off before the familiar pattern of Byakuya’s footsteps penetrated her focus.

She snapped open her eyes, meeting his eyes at about the same moment as when he leaned down in front of her.

“Do you know the formation for the attack?” he asked, eyes betraying nothing.

She nodded mutely, finding nothing else of important or interest to say. It was a stupid question, really, because of course she knew the formation for the attack – it had been practically ingrained into her head forever after Byakuya’s nonstop drilling.

Changing her mind, however, she lifted her head a bit higher and firmly stared into her nii-sama’s eyes.

“We’re…are we going to be okay?” she asked, cursing her voice for wobbling slightly and the pleading look she knew was wavering in her eyes.

“Of course we’re going to be okay,” Byakuya replied in the flat tone he always used, his face set, and his mouth a grim, determined line. But then he turned his head and his eyes softened, ever so slightly.

“Yamamoto-genryuusai trusts us. We’re going to be okay.”

With that, he got up and left, leaving Rukia behind in a whirlwind of confusion, until eventually, the fog swallowed him up and he was gone.

Standing up on shaky legs, Rukia thought about how odd it had been to receive a butterfly from Yamamoto-genryuusai himself, telling her that she was to report to nii-sama and accompany him on a Hollow-hunting mission, along with Hitsugaya-taichou.

Rukia hadn’t dared ask Byakuya the specifics of the operation, and Hitsugaya-taichou had been in one of those talk-to-me-and-Hyourinmaru-bites-your-head-off-in-two-seconds-flat moods ever since his small, sullen shadow had sulked next to Byakuya as they practiced their bankais and attacks and Rukia quietly trained alongside two of the greatest taichous in the Gotei 13.

She didn’t understand why two taichous, and then her, would need to go on a Hollow-hunting mission. Usually, those missions were assigned to the greenest of rookies that entered the Gotei 13 with the occasional higher-ranked supervisor to make sure that not too many rookie shinigami were killed by Hollows. Taichous never, ever went on Hollow-hunting missions, and only rarely ever did fukutaichous go.

Usually, the Menos-Grandes hunting missions were reserved for taichous, since those were trickier to kill and usually required a strong bankai.

Shaking her head to clear the questions that had been whirling around in it, Rukia resolutely pushed through the fog to where she thought she had heard Hitsugaya-taichou’s voice.

--

It was about five minutes to the predicted time when the Hollows were supposed to appear.

Hitsugaya-taichou had taken up his position in the middle of the field, his keen eyes scanning the sky above them the best he could for any sign of movement, of never-ending inky darkness that signified the bleakness of Hueco Mundo. He clutched Hyourinmaru in his hand; the zanpakuto faintly glowing, almost, the last time Rukia had seen it.

Rukia, on the other hand, was tucked away into a small clearing in the woods not too far from the field, and Byakuya had insisted on waiting with her, much to Rukia’s behest. She argued that she was a big girl now, dammit, and that he didn’t need to physically watch her every move and make sure she didn’t get carried off by some big scary Hollow.

Byakuya had simply shrugged, planted his feet on the ground, and refused to budge.

Rukia harrumphed, and promptly turned her nose up and looked the other way, silently grumbling that it was about time for Byakuya to wipe that smug smirk off of his face.

It was hard, though, to ignore Kuchiki Byakuya. He stood very close to Rukia, so close that their hands occasionally brushed against each other and Rukia swore that she could hear the sound of his breathing through the wind that rushed at them and the mist that wrapped around their faces. From what she could see, his face was set in its usual stoic lines, and his eyes were cool and calculating.

She longed to know what was going on behind those cryptic eyes, behind the impassive stone face that Rukia knew was just a façade.

Why wouldn’t he tell her anything?

Cool fingers suddenly settled on her chin, and startled out of her thoughts, Rukia whipped her head around to meet the molten eyes of one Kuchiki-taichou.

She stifled the urge to scream, her eyes widening as her heart pounded erratically in her chest. They were so close, just barely centimeters apart, and she could feel his breath against the skin on her face.

His other hand tucked a lock of stray hair behind her ear, the movements painstakingly delicate, and perhaps even rehearsed. His next words were murmured so low that Rukia strained over the wind to make them out.

“I’m sorry…you’ll see soon. I hope you understand.”

Rukia’s mind screamed in frustration, wanting to know more, wanting to know why, but her throat constricted up and her eyes continued staring up at him unwaveringly.

All too suddenly, he jerked her forward, and she was falling, before she landed gently inside the warm protective casing of his arms, which enclosed her, effectively trapping her.

She squirmed a little in his embrace, blushing slightly as she felt the friction of his skin against hers underneath the layers of shihakusho they were bundled up in to combat the bitter January cold. His lips ghosted over hers, and his hands supported her head, his deliciously long and elegant fingers running through her hair.

“What—” Rukia tried, but Byakuya cut her off.

“Shh,” he practically purred, hot breath forming puffs of air that clouded Rukia’s vision, and she remembered thinking dizzily how the hell Byakuya was so warm in ass-freezing cold weather.

Her hands scrabbled uselessly against his chest, trying to push him away so that she could leave, because at least some part of her mind was thinking rationally. He tugged her closer, and then, he was kissing her.

It took Rukia’s shell-shocked mind a while to process that Kuchiki-taichou was actually, really, truly kissing her – Byakuya…her nii-sama, the great head of the Kuchiki family that Rukia never dreamed would lower himself to her level.

But it felt so ashamedly good, his slightly chapped lips sliding over hers, the overall warmth of him, and the inaudible murmurs that vibrated in his throat.

To Rukia’s relative horror, she found herself kissing him back, finally giving in to temptation and hooking her arms behind his neck from instinct and unconsciously caressing the smooth hair at the nape of his neck

Rukia finally came to the conclusion that this had to be surreal, and it was nothing but a dream. The fog must have addled her brain.

But when they broke apart when air became somewhat of a necessity, he stared at her with eyes that were indescribably dark and passionate, and Rukia knew that this couldn’t possibly even be close to a dream.

“Why—” Rukia’s voice cracked slightly and she gripped his hand in hers. “Why, nii-sama—”

A shout sounded from somewhere to the east, and a dragon that was most definitely Hyourinmaru roared in battle.

The Hollows had arrived.

“I hope you understand,” Byakuya repeated, his forehead brushing against hers, his eyes serious and—was that a hint of sadness?—before he was gone in a flash into the gathering mist and fog.

Understand what?

--

Fighting was indeed an art. Whenever her sensei at the Academy had said that in his self-important air, Rukia scoffed and refused to believe that bloodshed and death could be an art.

But whenever Rukia gripped Sode no Shirayuki and the command “dance” flowed from her lips, she felt power and energy surge through her, turning her limbs into graceful streamers that controlled her sinuous, yet deadly, zanpakuto.

Rukia had always thought that the best embodiment of grace, beauty, yet also death, was Byakuya’s Senbonzakura. Many a time had she stared with awe from her window into the garden below as Byakuya uttered “chire” and wondrous sakura blossoms formed an elegant, yet fatal to anyone who dared venture too close, cloud around Byakuya that he moved with the grace of a cat slinking through a forest to leap upon its prey.

Battling her way through the clinging fog, Rukia unleashed Sode no Shirayuki’s shikai, and burst into the clearing where Hitsugaya-taichou had already confronted one Hollow and was fending off another that had snuck up behind him.

Her eyes hardened, and she rushed at the Hollow, satisfied at hearing its scream of pain as Sode no Shirayuki slashed it’s side.

The fight was on.

--

Rukia was feeling very good, and even though she had acquired a few scrapes and cuts from some of her harder adversaries, she felt that the mission would be a success, and that she could go home (if the Kuchiki manor could be called home) and everything would be back to normal again.

Between her and Hitsugaya-taichou, many Hollows had disappeared, wailing, swallowed up and gone. Rukia had just begun to wonder where Byakuya had gone off to when claws gripped her, crushing the air out of her body. Miraculously, even as air whipped by her face and Rukia faintly registered that she was being lifted high off of the ground, her hand clutched Sode no Shirayuki so hard that the design on the hilt was pressed into the skin of her palm.

She shrieked, naturally, as she scrabbled and slashed wildly with Sode no Shirayuki to no avail. She was trapped in unnaturally long, white claws that looked reminiscent of…

Menos Grandes.

Rukia squirmed around in the vice-like grip so that she stared, horrified, into the unearthly mask of a Menos Grandes as it screeched shrilly and flew out across the sky.

She tried to shout a warning or make some kind of gesture to Hitsugaya-taichou, who had his back turned to the impending threat and was just finishing doing battle with the last of the Hollows.

A Menos Grande cackled, and flew at the unsuspecting back of Hitsugaya-taichou, withdrawing from seemingly nothing but air and fog a long, lethal zanpakuto.

Even though her throat was dry and seemed to stick together in all the wrong places, Rukia wrenched open her mouth, and forcing air into her lungs, screamed, “HITSUGAYA-TAICHOU!!!”

She blurrily made out the white haori-clad form of Hitsugaya taichou whirl around just as the Hollow splintered and disappeared, Hyourinmaru still hanging limply at his side. Focusing just slightly, she saw his bright turquoise eyes widen in surprise and although his reflexes were supreme, not even Hyourinmaru could react fast enough to encounter the blow the Menos Grande delivered, cackling madly as blood spewed into the air, and Rukia felt sick and helpless, hanging in the claws of the Menos Grande high up in the sky.

She saw Hitsugaya-taichou fall, and she swore she heard Hyourinmaru keen as the ice stars burst and disappeared and Hyourinmaru itself limply fell from Hitsugaya-taichou’s hand onto the cold ground. Blood seeped from the small taichou’s body, and Rukia bit her lip with saddened eyes, silently willing Hitsugaya-taichou to live.

Where was Byakuya???

A sudden flash of pink, an all-too-familiar glowing pink, caught Rukia’s eye, and she twisted her head around, ignoring the cry of pain the muscles in her neck gave.

Byakuya stood on top of a nearby hill, his bankai swirling around him, his eyes cool and determined, even in this dire situation.

He raised a hand, and Rukia awaited in eager anticipation, for the slightest flick of his fingers would send the deadly sakura rushing at the Menos Grandes, and she would be freed and—

Her eyes widened, when instead of sending the sakura towards the Menos Grandes, he flicked his hand and banished the sakura, tucking Senbonzakura back into its sheath.

“N-Nii-sama?” Rukia asked softly, her voice tremulous and shocked.

Byakuya walked over to the Menos Grandes, stepping over the prone body of Hitsugaya-taichou, and nodded to the Menos Grande holding Rukia.

The Menos Grande grunted, and swooped lower to the ground to hold Rukia just slightly above the Earth so that she was at least of some eye level to Byakuya.

“What are you doing?” Rukia spat, forgetting all about her initial shock and instead, becoming infuriated. “Why are you on such friendly terms with these Menos Grandes? You—”

“Shh,” Byakuya murmured, too pleasantly for Rukia’s likes. His eyes were glittering in a cold, malicious way that was so unusual to Rukia and eerily reminded her of Aizen’s eyes when he had disappeared into Hueco Mundo.

Rukia hissed indignantly as his too-cold fingers traced the curve of her jaw, fluttered over her eyelashes, and stroked her cheek. “Stop it,” she demanded, trying to sound strong, but instead, coming off as feeble.

He remained impassive, regarding her for a moment or two, before stepping back and nodding again to the Menos Grande. “Take her.”

Rukia screamed as once again, she was taken into flight, and Byakuya grew smaller and smaller and his features grew blurrier.

She realized, as she hung from the grip of the Menos Grande, that she had been horribly and terribly used, and betrayed by the man she thought she had trusted the most – her nii-sama, the one that had rescued her from the forlorn streets of Rukongai, where she had thought she had been destined to live until she died, and then he had taken the blow from Ichimaru Gin’s Shinsou, that had been meant to end her life.

It felt like a stabbing, piercing, knife to the heart, jamming its sharp edge and making the blood spill out all over.

Sharp, hot tears pricked at Rukia’s eyes, and she worked up the strength to yell back to the fading form that was Byakuya. “Why are you doing this? What – what did I ever do to you?”

Even though Rukia’s eyes were becoming watery and blurred, Byakuya’s cold voice cleanly sliced through the air and it was a shock to hear the blatant difference his voice now held from the voice Rukia had become accustomed to – the voice that defined who Byakuya was. This voice couldn’t possibly be the real Byakuya speaking – he would never do this to her.

“You were nothing but an annoyance, Rukia.”

Rukia was vaguely aware that she had stopped flying through the air and that the world seemed to pause around them; the mist that had swirled endlessly around them separated, and the fog cleared ever so slightly.

The image of Byakuya standing on the ground below grew sharper and it was to this that Rukia directed her next words, words that rang with sadness and betrayal.

“I – I – you could have told me! I – Nobody deserves to be taken, killed, and betrayed in this manner!”

In the blink of an eye, Byakuya loomed over her, maintaining perfect balance on the air in the sky.

“I thought,” he said, “That when I adopted you, you would be a distraction from the grief I still had about Hisana’s death. Instead, you proved to be nothing but a worthless, useless image of her that compared nothing to what she was – a proper Kuchiki lady. I tried to teach you Kuchiki etiquette, in hopes that one day you would understand and learn your place in society, but you were stubborn and headstrong and refused to listen. Thus, I had no other choice but to send you off to be a shinigami – I wanted you to grow up and have a strong reputation as one of the best shinigami in Seireitei. You did not, instead, your zanpakuto has a flimsy shikai, your kidou skills are only marginal, and you are too careless in your battling. You have done immeasurable shame to the Kuchiki family, and this, Rukia, cannot be tolerated.”

Tears flowed freely down Rukia’s face now as she spat at him, “I tried as hard as I could! But look at you! You’re nothing better than Aizen! I – I don’t understand!”

“You don’t deserve to live in Seireitei and bear the Kuchiki name,” was all Byakuya said, his eyes hard and steady.

The darkness of Hueco Mundo snapped open in front of Rukia’s eyes, the sky breaking and tearing apart.

Her eyes desperate and pleading, Rukia attempted to make one last stab at Byakuya, his still form straddling the air, his captain’s haori blowing ominously in the breeze.

“What about Hitsugaya-taichou? What did he ever do?”

Byakuya tilted his head and regarded her for several seconds before answering, as if he got some sadistic pleasure from watching her struggle futilely against the steel grip of the Menos Grande and her hair and eyes wild.

“He was nothing but an arrogant little brat that was too powerful for his own good.” He shrugged lightly, and Rukia was chillingly reminded of the mocking smile Gin used to sport, back when he had been around.

“So it’s all about power now? I thought you were better above the type of things Aizen did!”

“Power is good,” Byakuya replied, rather cryptically, but before Rukia could question him, he snapped his fingers to the Menos Grande and vanished into the fog.

The Menos Grande holding her cackled shrilly and dragged her into the cold, evil clutches of Hueco Mundo. Rukia could feel the evilness and doom emanating from the black hole in the sky.

She screamed as suddenly the feeling in her body swept out of her, and her fingers grew numb. Sode no Shirayuki slipped and fell towards the ground and with her last bit of strength, Rukia scrabbled after her zanpakuto and miserably failed.

Her throat constricted and she lost the ability to speak, and her scream died on her lips as she was swallowed up into the cavern of Hueco Mundo and the sky snapped closed behind her.

--

Sode no Shirayuki plummeted toward the ground, jamming hilt-up into the ground. That was the only sound for a long time, until a figure walked out of the mist, inspecting the lone zanpakuto in the middle of the field.

Kuchiki Byakuya surveyed the churned ground, Sode no Shirayuki standing straight up like a beacon, and the limp, bloodstained body of Hitsugaya-taichou nearby. He appraised it, and seemed, in a twisted way, satisfied by his work.

Betrayal was a funny little thing, in his mind.

He knew that the next day, a group of shinigami would find the dead little taichou and the zanpakuto of Kuchiki Rukia. They would spend months, years even, searching for the missing shinigami, but of course, she would never be found again.

“I hope you understand, Rukia,” Byakuya said to no one in particular, and smiling cruelly, he turned on his heel and disappeared; this time, for good.

-fin-

A/N: GAH. I’M SORRY THIS WAS SO FREAKING BAD. D: D: D:

Well, I tried :( 
Tags: 30_tears, a knife to the heart, bleach, byakuruki
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