'The first thing Kuchiki Byakuya was ever taught was the emotions are for the weak.' Byakuya is an emotional retard. Hisana knows that, and forgives him. He wishes that it is that easy to forgive h...
I've never been the kind to ever let my feelings show
And I thought that bein' strong meant never losin' your self-control
From young, the first thing Kuchiki Byakuya was ever taught was the emotions are for the weak. It was only the commoners and lower nobles and weaklings who wore their hearts on their sleeves. He had always believed that to be true.
At least, he believed that until the day he had met her.
It was an accident, really. He had been sent to Rukongai to run a few errands and had met her, bumping into each other, the dirt on her face leaving a brown-red streak on his scarf. He had stared, half-horrified and half in disbelief, at her as she glared and shouted at him.
"You are an idiot or something? Don't just stand in the streets and do nothing! You'll just get in my way!"
She had pushed him away (Byakuya had never figured out how she did it, for she reached only to his shoulder and was so tiny he was sure that a wind could blow her away), and stumbled away, breaking into a run when a coarse voice sounded, enraged and cursing. He didn't know what he was doing, really, but the next thing he knew, he had half-thrown and half-dragged her into the nearest building and staggered in himself.
Somehow or another, between the shouts (nobody had ever shouted at him before, much less with so much disrespect) and the insults and the glares, he had fallen in love with her.
Byakuya never knew if she loved him back.
But I'm just drunk enough to let go of my pain
The first time he felt completely helpless was when they told him that she was going to die.
It was an illness, they told him, that she had picked up in Rukongai. It wasn't really a very serious disease, they said, voices hushed, but the Lady Kuchiki had worsened it by walking around in Rukongai during winter. It was incurable, they murmured, because it has worsened too much.
So he stayed by her bedside everyday, watching her and never knowing what to say or what to do. He never begged, never cried, never asked her not to leave, to fight against the disease because that's not what a Kuchiki should do. A Kuchiki should place pride above all else. A Kuchiki must be /strong/.
And so he stayed by her side, except when his duty as a vice-captain and as the Head of the Noble House of Kuchiki called. He kneeled beside her, watching her as she sleep, trying to fight the invisible bonds that stopped him from calling out to her and asking her not to go.
But he felt the kenseiken in his hair and the silk scarf at his throat and the heavy formal robes weighing down on his shoulders. He remembered that he was a Kuchiki and a Kuchiki must be strong and never back down, not even to save the one they love most.
To hell with my pride, let it fall like rain
Three months, one week and four days later, Hisana died.
Byakuya didn't cry then, instead closing his eyes in defeat (he didn't know how he was defeated. He didn't want to know.). He broke his perfect attendance record and didn't go in for work the next day. He focused his mind on the funeral procedures and everything that came with mourning that he didn't have time or energy to /grieve/.
He built a fire for her, using the finest wood he could find even though he knew, logically, that it would be a waste. He didn't cry, and was strong and stoic as all Kuchiki should be, and watched as the one he had ever allowed himself to love disappear behind the flames.
The ashes left behind hurt him much more than Senbonzakura ever would.
And so he built a shrine of her in his room, so as not to forget her and not to forget the pain of loving her. He made sure that everything was the most beautiful and the best, a small photo of her smile sitting in the middle, in the midst of her favourite things. It helped, a little, but he could never take away the feeling that everything was... false, somehow.
From my eyes
Tonight I wanna cry
Byakuya promised Hisana that he would find her sister and protect her, and he did.
He also promised that he would never tell Rukia of Hisana's identity, but that promise would be broken. He needed to tell her. However, he knew, somehow, that Hisana would understand.
And so he closed his eyes against the pain blossoming in his chest and stared at the droplets of his blood (Kuchiki blood), gathered at his feet. He almost couldn't breathe, and gripped on to Rukia, leaning onto her like he had never allowed her to lean on him.
'Blood is thicker than water', he heard that saying once. Perhaps it was not entirely accurate; perhaps it meant something else entirely, but...
Kuchiki Byakuya knew that he could not cry, not because emotions are for the weak, but because emotions are for the /strong/. He wasn't strong, not truly, not in ways that mattered, for he never dared to step out of the mould that he was shoved into, never dared to contradict what he was taught.
He couldn't cry, but he supposed that his blood would have to suffice as tears until he was strong enough to let her go.