Rukia's presents and Byakuya's present. The others eavesdrop on the two of them.
Rukia took it and opened it, confusion flashed in the Shinigami's eyes as Ichigo slapped a hand over his face. Karin had given Rukia... boxing gloves of all things. Rukia blinked confused as she looked up at Karin's grinning face and said," Thank you... Karin." Karin sent her a thumbs up as Byakuya kept quiet and Rukia put the gloves aside.
Junshiro passed her a box with a envelope on top. Rukia looked at him before smiling a little and said," Thank you, Captain." She opened the envelop and read the card before opening the box and pulled out a silk sash. "It'll help you, trust me." Junshiro said and the confusion smoothed from Rukia's face as she said," Thank you."
Shunsui passed her a wrapped package and everyone knew what it was before Rukia even opened it. It was a new Shinigami outfit. "Thank you, Captain Shunsui." Rukia said softly and Shunsui just nodded his head. Yoruichi gave her a set of hair pins that were plain and matched her hair. She nodded her head and said," Thank you."
Kukaku gave her a cow girl out fit and Byakuya had to fight down the urge to glare at the woman. Rukia nodded her thanks while fighting down a blush and took Toshiro and Momo's gift. It turned out to be spirit items that would help her with missions. Rukia put them down gently and nodded her head as she said softly," Thank you, Captain Hitsugaya, Momo."
Toshiro just shrugged as Momo smiled at her brightly. Orihime gave her a decorated sheath for her zanpakuto that had her initials carved itno it. "This must have cost you a lot, Orihime. Thank you." Rukia said and Orihime smiled at her brightly as Renji handed her a small and big box. She looked up at him before opening the small box.
I knowing, rememberance smile passed her lips as she held up the box of rock candy. She then opened up the second box and pulled out a old looking book. She looked up and a soft laugh passed her lips as she said," You remembered, Renji, thank you for the gifts." Renji shrugged as he said," It's nothing. I knew you'dl like the presents."
Kiyone gave her a new night yukata and Nanao gave her a book on discipline which to Rukia seemed to amuse Byakuya though he didn't show it. Kenpachi gave her leather gloves and when she asked why all he answered was," Don't worry you'll know when you'll need them, and believe me you will need them." Rukia bowed slightly and thanked him for the leather gloves.
Yachiru gave her a light blue kimono and black obi which she had thanked her politely while thinking she was always getting new kimono's from her nee-sama. She took Ichigo's present and opened it slowly and carefully. She pulled out the medallion and blinked at it in confusion along with the other shinigami before she looked at Ichigo confused.
"It's supposed to be a medallion of protection... it's all I could afford." Ichigo explained half heartedly and Rukia nodded her head as she said softly," Thank you, Ichigo." Ichigo turned a light pink but looked away. Chad handed her a small box and Rukia opened it to see his golden medallion.
"Chad... this is yours." Rukia said looking up at him and he said," I hand it to you, just like my grandfather gave it to me." "Thank you." Rukia said as she placed it with her other gifts. Everyone was now staring at Byakuya intently. Forgetting his embaressment, Ichigo turned his head and watched Byakuya as well.
"Come walk with me, Rukia." Byakuya ordered and Rukia stood up quickly as she said," Alright, nee-sama." She followed him out of the room and curious, everyone followed.
Rukia walked beside Byakuya quietly as they walked through the Kuchiki gardens. She couldn't even here her nee-sama'a foot steps, he was that quiet. Her's was almost as silent but there was a slight tap with her walking. She looked up at Byakuya to see his face blank and unemotional.
Byakuya suddenly stopped and she stopped beside him, and loooked up at him curiously. "Nee-sama?" Rukia asked slightly hesitant as Byakuya looked out into the distance the wind blowing his hair. He looked down and met her eyes before he answered," Here will do." Rukia blinked confused but waited for him to explain.
"Rukia.. I am giving you several presents and one you can decide if you want or not." Byakuya said softly and Rukia blinked as Byakuya looked up at the sky. Rukia looked at him curiously as he said," If you want... you may leave the Kuchiki Clan and be free of all restraints that I have placed on you."
Rukia's eyes widened at that.
Everyone gaped and Junshiro's eyes saddened as he said," So... he really is giving her the choice. Captain Kuchiki, I hope you know what you are doing." They looked at him and Shunsui with curiousity as Shunsui nodded his head in agreement but the two didn't do anything at all.
"N-nee-sama.... do you want me to leave that much? Do you dislike my pressence so intensely?" Rukia asked as she clentched her hands into fists as she clentched her eyes shut. "No, I don't. I'm giving you the choice to be happy and to leave the Kuchiki. I am giving you the chance to be with the one who will make you happiest. If you stay then you maybe forced to marry me. Before that can happen I am letting you have the choice to leave and be with the one who will make you happy." Byakuya answered calmly.
"He's letting her have the choice to go! Now she can be with the one who will make her happy and the one she wants to be with!" Renji said excitedly as Junshiro thought,"/ But at the cost of Byakuya's happiness. If she leaves then so will his happiness and will to live. He has came to care for her so much and so deeply. What will you do if she does leave, Byakuya?/"
"Nee-sama... I don't want to leave your side." Rukia finally answered and Byakuya looked down at her before lifting her chin and her eyes opened as stray tears fell down her cheeks. Byakuya looked into her eyes as he said," If you stay in the Kuchiki Clan, you maybe forced to marry me, Rukia. I am giving you the choice now to leave before that does happen."
"Nee-sama... I don't wish to leave your side... no matter what." Rukia said as she gasped softly and Byakuya wiped the tears away with his thumb pads. "I will try to protect you, Rukia. But I won't promise you anything that I can't keep." Byakuya said and Rukia pressed her cheek into his hand.
Renji and Ichigo growled silently, possessively and protectively while Junshiro just smiled along side Shunsui. Junshiro thought,"/ Byakuya.... you will continue on now. I won't have to worry about you./"
Byakuya took his hands away and stepped back only once and then he pulled out a small velvet box.
"Don't tell me... he's going to propose to her right after he'd say he'd protect her!?" Renji and Ichigo exclaimed quietly as Junshiro chuckled and answered," Just watch." With that everyone turned back towards Byakuya and Rukia.
Byakuya handed her the velvet box and she opened it before blinking and looked up at him shocked as she said," Nee-sama this is...!" Byakuya intervened and said," That's correct. It's the Kuchiki family ring. I'm giving it to you, Rukia, along with the medallion." "Nee-sama.... thank you so much." Rukia said bowing slightly but Byakuya stopped her.
He watched her put on the silver ring that had the Kuchiki initial in it. He then pulled out a golden medallion before walking behind her and putting it around her neck. On the medallion it had Kuchiki written out. "Come, there is one other gift." Byakuya said as he started walking away and Rukia followed beside him curious.
Byakuya stopped in front of what seemed to be storage room. "Nee-sama?" Rukia asked softly and Byakuya walked forward before opening the storage room and stepped inside. Rukia waited outside and finally Byakuya stepped out with a long but thin wrapped up box. Byakuya handed it over to her and said," Happy birthday, Rukia."
Rukia took the package and unwrapped it, then opened the box and gasped. "Nee-sama.... it's my Sode no Shirayuki but improved and stronger." Rukia said and Byakuya looked down at her unemotionally before nodding his head and said," It wouldn't do, if you never had your zanpakuto by your side. Don't ever forget, that Rukia."
"Hai, nee-sama." Rukia said and she put the box down carefully before suddenly hugging Byakuya around his waist which he stiffened in surprise before relaxing but he didn't return her embrace.
Junshiro sighed as he leaned back and said," That's all we need to see."