Rukia is still recovering and it's been two weeks since her almost fatal training with Ichigo. Byakuya takes her to the garden and the two are interrupted by Ichigo who is running away from Renji.
"Rukia." Byakuya said pulling Rukia out of her thoughts and she hastilly turned toward him and said startled," Nii-sama! I'm sorry I didn't hear you come in. Did you ask me something?" "No. I was just checking up on how you were doing." Byakuya answered before looking out of her window and his face softened just slightly which caused Rukia to smile a little.
"I'm doing better.. it just stings a little." Rukia answered his unasked question and Byakuya seemed to relax a little as he nodded his head. Byakuya watched her gaze longily towards the gardens and he did something unexpected for the both of them. He picked Rukia up after throwing the blankets off of her. "N-nii-sama!?" Rukia asked stuttering only slightly.
"You want to go to the gardens. I'll take you there." Byakuya stated answering her unasked question and she flushed lightly as Byakuya easily carried her to the gardens. Her heart was pounding and she felt so small when Byakuya carried her. They finally reached the gardens and he sat her down on the bench gently before sitting down beside her.
They stayed there in silence as they watched the sakura blossoms fall from the sakura trees. "Nii-sama... arigato gozaimasu." Rukia said softly as she looked down a light blush crawling up on her cheeks. Byakuya glanced at her and after a few moments he said," It's... nothing, Rukia. I knew you missed sitting in the gardens and I had wanted... to make you happy."
Rukai looked up at him shocked before a small yet happy smile graced her lips as she said," I can not express my gratitude in words, nii-sama." Byakuya didn't say anything as he looked up at the blue sky dotted with white puffy clouds and Rukia looked up at the sky as well. Silence fell around the two like a blanket, but it was a comfortable silence.
Rukia debated inwardly if she should do or say anything when she finally reached out and grabbed his hand. He glanced at her surprised but let her lace their fingers together between the two of them and didn't say anything. "It's a beautiful day." Rukia stated and Byakuya this time did look at her instead of glancing as he said," It is."
"/Peaceful... I never imagined i'd be at peace beside, nii-sama. I have always been nervous and fidgetty around, nii-sama, but now... now I am so relaxed and calm. What is this feeling that I feel for nii-sama? What could it be?/" Rukia thought before suddenly Ichigo ran right past them closely followed by Renji and Rukia blinked as Ichigo and Renji ran around the garden.
"Oh come on, Renji!! It was an accident!" Ichigo yelled not looking back at Renji whose veins were throbbing and he had his zanpakuto out and was chasing Ichigo. "You are going to pay, Ichigo and dearly! Stop running you coward!" Renji yelled as he ran after Ichigo with the intension of hurting him badly or worse killing him.
A smile graced Rukia's lips before she started giggling then chuckling and finally laughing. Ichigo and Renji stopped running and turned to look at the laughing Rukia. Byakuya didn't do anything or say anything as he watched her laugh with happiness and it seemed she had forgiven Ichigo. He didn't care as long as she was happy and his punishment was still in effect.
"You two... are such baka's." Rukia said smiling lightly as she stopped laughing and stared at the two with hooded amusement. Renji watched her surprised before he smirked half way before he said," It's good to see the old Rukia back." Byakuya stood up and met Ichigo's now tense eyes and he said," Rukia, if you are ready to go in, call me."
"Nii-sama, matte!" Rukia called out when he started walking away and he turned to look at her only to see her arms stretched out. At Renji and Ichigo's shocked looks she said softly," I'm tired and I need some rest." Byakuya didn't say anything as he walked back over to her and easily picked her up into his arms. As they left Renji and Ichigo caught Rukia's slight blush.
Once Byakuya was inside Renji asked confused," Why was she blushing? Kuchiki-taichou was just carrying her back to her room." "Maybe that's it... maybe it was because he was carrying her." Ichigo answered softly and Renji busted out laughing as he said," That's rich, Ichigo!! He's her brother and nothing more! It can't be because of that."
Ichigo laughed with him as he said," That's true, it can't be because of Byakuya carrying her." "But... what if it is?" Renji asked suddenly serious and Ichigo turned serious as well as he answered," That could mean trouble, but Rukia would tell us if she felt anything for that cold bastard of a brother of hers. She hasn't so it can't be that."
"I know... but I worry about Rukia being near Kuchiki-taichou." Renji said looking to the side and Ichigo sighed as he said," Don't worry about it right now, Renji. We'll worry about it only if Rukia tells us something like that."
"There... is something I should tell the two of you, since the two of you are my bestfriends." Rukia said looking forward instead of looking at the two of them. "So, what is it?" Renji asked curiously and Rukia closed her eyes before she answered soflty," I... love, nii-sama." There was silence and she opened her eyes to stare at the two who looked like they would go into shock anytime soon.
"That bastard! Let's hunt him down, Renji!" Ichigo yelled angry at himself and angry at Byakuya for capturing Rukia's attention and her love. It was bad enough that Rukia decided to stay in the Soul Society and not be with him but... she gave her attention and love to someone like Byakuya. Renji was equally mad if not worse.
"Yes let's Ichigo! We'll kill him!" Renji said but his reasons were much.. more reasonable. Byakuya took Rukia, his one true friend away from him and put her as his sister in the Kuchiki Clan. He then excepted him as his lieutenent or vice-captain and he had to be careful since his captain was Rukia's older brother. They had been seperated for so long and now this..
"You two will do no such thing to nii-sama. He doesn't know about... any of this." Rukia said calmly as she looked at the two and the two paused before they could even make it out of the door. "Rukia... how could you love a man like Byakuya? A man as cold and apathetic as Byakuya?!" Ichigo asked angrily his eyes burning with anger and pain.
Rukia looked at him with sadness but no pity as she answered," It's easy.. he's been taking care of me for so long... and he's been treating me with such kindness that it's weird. You wouldn't think it's kindness if you saw it... but it's different then how he usually treats me. He also save me from you, Ichigo. You should thank him when you see him again."
Ichigo looked away as he thought,"/ She's right... Byakuya, even though he is so cold and apathetic, he saved Rukia from me. He stopped me from killing Rukia... I should thank him when I see him but then he'll probably just brush me away./"