Jenn (ink_magic) wrote in starry_ink,

Bleach // Prompt 34 - Cranky // Always There (Part XII)

Title: Always There (Part XII)
Fandom: Bleach
Characters: Kuchiki Byakuya, Kuchiki Rukia
Table: Four
Prompt: 34 - Cranky
Word Count: 2,431
Rating: T
Summary: After so many years of not understanding and ignorance, it all comes together during several series of encounters. To follow a relationship that was never thought to be, it turns out to be quite interesting...
Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach or anything of that sort.
Author's Notes: I betrayed nanowrimo for this, hahaha. I'm such a bad person. Okay. Consists of much rambling and ByakuRuki loving...and a new character. And that's about it ;)

written for 100_situations ! 

Prompt 34 – Cranky [AT 12]

Thanks for everybody's faith in this story :D

The beginning of the second arc...


Rukia sometimes wondered what bliss was.

Sometimes, she thought that bliss was being free of all her duties and lying on a grassy hill overlooking Seireitei and doing nothing but watching the birds trill in the sky and the clouds float by.

Maybe, bliss was throwing all of the blasted paperwork Ukitake-taichou piled upon her (as his fuku-taichou) out of the window and watching them fall into the stream below and being free of all of their little words that scrambled together in her head and made absolutely no sense.

Then again, bliss might be curled up on the sofa on a cold winter’s evening, watching Nikkou yowl at Byakuya for taking his favorite chewing slipper that, coincidentally or not-so-coincidentally, also happened to be Byakuya’s favorite slipper. Rukia would sit back against the plush pillows lining the sofa with a steaming mug of hot chocolate, or some nice tea, and watch Nikkou growl and attempt to run with the slipper back to wherever the cat kept the little trinkets he stole. Byakuya would chase the little cat around, and Rukia could hear the pattering of Nikkou’s paws and the stamping of Byakuya’s feet (Rukia sometimes wondered if she ought to remind Byakuya that he could just shunpo) all along the hallways before Byakuya emerged back into the room and collapsed on the couch next to his wife and muttered, “That blasted cat.”

Rukia would then smile at him and try to console him without bursting out into laughter at the dismayed look at Byakuya’s face as he realized that he would never get his slipper back without using Senbonzakura Kageyoshi or something on the cat (and then again, Rukia knew that secretly, Byakuya loved Nikkou too much to decimate the poor “ratty furball” into a million pieces).

Rukia thought that she had found bliss when she had been introduced to Sode no Shirayuki and she had learned her shikai, the “first dance, white moon”. Rukia had felt like she was soaring on the adrenaline of the battle as a beautiful white ribbons unfurled from her zanpakuto’s hilt and curved around her in a perfect unwavering circle. The world darkened, unbelievably so, and then it all disappeared into ice, except for the heat Rukia felt pounding in her veins and Sode no Shirayuki’s soft voice whispering in her ear, advising her.

She had felt that obtaining her shikai (and then ensuing, her next two dances) and using her shikai in the midst of a battle was true bliss. It was graceful, yet beautiful, deadly, and powerful (of course, nothing could compare to Byakuya’s Senbonzakura, but Rukia was resilient that she would get to his level…someday). She felt like wings could sprout from her back and she could lazily float above all the frozen land and feel at peace…at bliss.

But finally, Rukia felt that she pinpointed just what exactly bliss was. Bliss was waking up in the strong arms of one Kuchiki Byakuya (also Kuchiki-taichou, and only referred to by Byakushi by the only one Shihouin Yoruichi who was audacious enough to risk Byakuya’s wrath) in the early morning light, his chest pressed against her back and his hair tangled up and mussed, without his usual kenseikan in place, and falling across her shoulder.

His breaths were deep and even, and Rukia was rather relieved that he didn’t snore as loudly as one red-headed lieutenant she knew in the sixth division. His face was free of all the lines of worry and stress that it usually held, and he looked younger, and peaceful. His fingers were usually fisted with hers and Rukia marveled at how even though his hands were so much larger than hers, it seemed as if when they put their hands together, it was a perfect, perfect fit.

She would stir ever so slightly (usually by accident because she never meant to truly awake a peaceful, sleeping Byakuya) and Byakuya’s lightning fast reflexes would react and he would stir too. In time, his beautiful dark eyes would blink drowsily open and stare at her face for a few unfocused seconds, getting accustomed to the new morning light and the new day. Then, his arms would pull her closer in to his body (she gladly obliged with his silent request), and he would whisper in her ear, “Good morning.”

Now, this was bliss.

Byakuya was allowing Rukia to see him at his most vulnerable, when his hair was a mess from sleeping, he was in nothing but black silk pajamas, he was hogging more than his half of the covers like a little kid, and his eyes were still groggy from just waking up.

Rukia would then usually lean over and kiss the pointed, damningly aristocratic tip of his nose, and whisper back, “Morning to you too.”

Byakuya would then allow his lips to curve into a slow, sensuous smile and tilt his head to get a better look at her face, and if the glowing, radiant sun hit his face just right, Rukia thought that he looked like a sun god in the bed, with his hair fanning out and the sunlight illuminating all the angles of his face perfectly.



This morning, Rukia hadn’t been cranky at all. This morning, she had gone through the whole bliss ordeal again, when Byakuya had kissed her lightly on the lips (because on occasion, he woke up earlier than she did) when he had awoken. Rukia watched with drowsy eyes as he emerged, dripping wet, from the shower, and she thought that this couldn’t possibly be the shinigami that had laid deathly still in the bed in the gray room in the Fourth division for months in the throes of a coma that refused to let go of him.

He was her miracle – Rukia had never bothered to think of what would have happened if even now, Byakuya was still in that coma and he would never come back to her, and she never would think about that horrible thought.

Byakuya seemed to instantly transform himself from half-asleep man in bed to stern, foreboding Kuchiki-taichou dressed in his shihakusho, scarf, and captain’s haori in a matter of minutes.

He pulled his gloves on and attached Senbonzakura to his uniform before striding over to where Rukia sat on the bed and giving her a light kiss on the lips like a dutiful husband. “I won’t be able to do lunch today because of a meeting with Yamamoto-genryuusai,” he murmured. “But stop by the office after you get off of work and then we can come home together,” he added.

Rukia nodded and watched Byakuya pull away and walk over to the door, pausing in opening it. “I love you,” he said softly, and Rukia smiled.

“Love you too,” she replied back and Byakuya’s eyes softened at her before he turned around and walked off down the hallway, presumably to eat breakfast before shunpo-ing to work, since Byakuya (as expected of the taichou) got to work earlier than Rukia and probably much of the other shinigami.

Rukia sighed and pulled herself off of the bed, shivering slightly as she slipped out of the warm comforter that had had Byakuya’s added extra heat. She padded into the bathroom and prepared herself for a long day at work.


Rukia had strode into her office at the Thirteenth Division (purposefully taking the shorter route to the Thirteenth Division that didn’t encompass walking in a circle just to pass the Sixth Division buildings, as she used to do), a woman with a mission to finish all of the paperwork that had accumulated on her desk over the course of several weeks and before, Rukia had kind of nudged whole piles to the edges, dropped some on the floor, and stuffed others into drawers as she made room for new piles of paperwork. Rukia had drank an extra cup of green tea (supposedly, to fortify her energy and mental health) at breakfast and had brought along two rice balls to keep her strength up (nutrients and protein was generally a good thing) as she resolved to power through all of the paperwork that needed to be done.

She glanced jealously at Ukitake-taichou’s desk, that was suspiciously empty of a lot of paperwork, and she guessed that he must have dumped it all on the unsuspecting Kiyone and Sentaro (unlike Rukia, who was a good soul and wouldn’t ever think of doing that) and only signed where they required the taichou to sign. Ukitake-taichou hadn’t come in yet, since he usually sauntered in at some later hour and gave an excuse varying between “I was visiting Kyouraku-taichou!” to “My lungs felt a bit weak this morning, so I decided to stay in bed for a little longer.”

Rukia never bought any of these excuses, knowing Ukitake-taichou far too well, but Kiyone and Sentaro lapped them up and fawned over the taichou while Rukia rolled her eyes and continued doing her paperwork.

Rukia plopped down in her extra-comfy desk chair and rolled towards the desk (and her impending doom, since Rukia had always been one for drama). She whipped out a brush, and an ink pot, and glanced around at her stuffed, crowded with paperwork desk, the floor and general vicinity around her desk crowded with paperwork, and dreading it, she opened her drawers and saw all of the full of random stacks of paperwork except for the small, narrow one where she kept all of her paper clips, brushes, and ink pots.

Rukia forced herself to concentrate, and grabbed for the nearest pile of paperwork. This was definitely going to be a long day.


Rukia had a rather steep learning curve, and she was proud to say that she quickly learned how to power through paperwork at a quite fast speed. It was exasperating at first, since she had to fill out all the paperwork on missions she didn’t go on, but then she had the bright idea that nobody looked at the paperwork anyways, since they just jammed it all into a filing cabinet up at the First Division, so she just made up random facts and wrote them all down on the paper.

Her first distraction came in the form of Kiyone, who bounced into the office and grinned at Rukia before dropping what looked like a wrapped-up potted plant on Ukitake-taichou’s desk and flounced off towards her own office. Rukia squashed down the desperate urge to look under the paper wrapping of whatever Kiyone had dropped on Ukitake-taichou’s desk and resolutely turned back to her paperwork.


At half past nine, approximately, Ukitake-taichou walked into the office, exclaimed happily over whatever Kiyone’s potted plant was, and walked back out.


By lunch, Rukia had grown from annoyed and exasperated to full blown crankiness, much like a little kid who hadn’t gotten enough sleep the night before.

Rukia sullenly ate her rice and vegetable lunch, looking over yet more paperwork (she was slightly proud, though, that the stacks of unfinished paperwork had diminished a bit and the pile of completed paperwork that Rukia chucked at Ukitake-taichou’s desk was getting higher and higher). She wondered if Byakuya dumped all of his paperwork on his fuku-taichou, and then Rukia thought about how exuberantly happy Renji seemed to be all the time, and deemed that impossible. Anyways, Byakuya was too strict and too noble to slack off of paperwork, no matter how much he hated it himself.

Kiyone tumbled back into the office with a platter of rice cakes she had procured somewhere and offered some to Rukia. Rukia wondered tiredly how Kiyone had gotten the huge piles of Ukitake-taichou’s paperwork completed in such a short time and remembered that Sentaro had helped too.

Rukia scowled and grabbed four rice cakes and then bent back down to her work.


At the end of the day, Rukia was extremely glad to chuck the last stack of paperwork she had finished onto Ukitake-taichou’s desk, and even though there were still several huge piles of paperwork littering the vicinity of Rukia’s desk, she nodded satisfactorily to see that she had at least made a rather large dent in the work.

But then again, all of the fine print and boring instructions and endless writing had all blurred together in Rukia’s mind and now her head hurt and her wrist hurt. She wanted…she wanted to go find Byakuya and then go home, eat dinner, and then go to bed with him early, because nothing calmed her more after a hectic day than Byakuya’s arms around her sides and his deep breathing rustling the hair on her neck.

Rukia walked into the Sixth Division, and everywhere, she saw accents of Byakuya’s presence, from the faint sandalwood scent in the air to several scrolls that hung down walls with ancient proverbs Rukia recognized from Kuchiki etiquette books or such.

Renji’s desk was cluttered and messy, but he wasn’t there, so Rukia assumed that he was out running some errand for Byakuya.

The door to Byakuya’s office was cracked barely open, and Rukia pulled it open.

She expected to see Byakuya sitting there doing his paperwork as usual, head bent over his work, and the setting sun doing glorious things to his hair and face, but instead, Rukia heard faint talking.

From the back, Rukia couldn’t see very well, but a woman with long, stretching black hair leaned over Byakuya’s desk and was talking to him.

Great. First, Rukia powered through stacks and stacks of paperwork, and now she had to deal with this…woman, whoever she may be.

It didn’t help that Rukia was cranky and just wanted to bury her face in the warm crook of Byakuya’s neck.

The woman or Byakuya hadn’t noticed Rukia’s entrance, so Rukia took a deep breath and eyed the woman viciously. “Who the fuck are you?” she asked snappishly.

The woman whirled around in surprise (it didn’t help that this woman was also taller than Rukia – not by a whole lot, though) and eyed Rukia with wariness, then arrogance.

Rukia took in the woman’s perfectly oval face, bright green eyes set against long eyelashes, and perfect red lips that flashed white teeth as they curved into a smile. Her shihakusho was cut rather low (although not quite as low as Matsumoto’s), and she had a zanpakuto strapped to one side.

She flipped her cascading black hair back and raised her head proudly. “Murano Maki, sixth division,” she said.

Rukia gaped. WHAT?



Tags: 100_situations, always there, bleach, byakuruki
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