Byakuya reflects on being idolized, and how he no longer needs to be. Mentions of Byakuya/Ichigo.
by: eternalsailorsolarwind AKA youkai_girl
Disclaimer: Bleach and all of its characters are owned by Tite Kubo, his Japanese publishers, and Viz. I just play with them for grins and giggles.
A/N: Written for the Week 16 prompt at bleach_contest: Worship. Byakuya reflects on those that idolized him, and how he no longer needs that. Byakuya/Ichigo.
He was well-used to adoration. During the course of his long life, Kuchiki Byakuya had become used to feeling many eyes upon him – of both genders. It was something he'd come to expect over the years. Not that he was exceptionally vain, even for a noble. But he was very aware of exactly how those eyes looked at him, and what they saw. He wasn't blind, after all.
Men and women had wanted him – in one way or another – for most of his life. The constant scrutiny had led him to be very careful in his youth when it came to any kind of experimentation; his position as heir to one of the four great noble houses demanded it. Bringing embarrassment to the family was harshly rewarded.
Early on, he'd cultivated those who idolized him – or seemed to – as lovers, enjoying the attention. Time, experience, and a thoroughly off-color “discussion” with Yoruichi later, and he began to distance himself from those who professed to worship the very ground he walked on. Sometimes, alone in the dark of his bedchamber, he wondered if that was part of his attraction to Hisana, At least he'd had her respect, even if that was a cold comfort.
After his wife's death, he allowed the mask of indifference that he wore in public to become a reality. Not even to his new sister did he show one drop of affection. There was no need to; no reason why it was important. He was looking out for her, keeping his promise to his departed wife. That was enough. Instead, he focused on his duties, and made them his life.
Content for things to continue in that vein, the arrival of the ryoka, Kurosaki Ichigo, upset his carefully ordered world much the same way a hand grenade would. It was hate at first sight for the both of them; pride fueling their early battles. Eventually, the battles and the arguments tapered off, to be replaced by a mutual – if surprising – respect.
Somehow, it became something more, and he found his first lover in decades in his former enemy. It was not in Ichigo to glorify anyone, and he was fine with that. His lover did respect him, and he enjoyed having an equal relationship with the other man. It was the genuine love and caring that the substitute shinigami showed him that made him realize just how lucky he really was to have found his orange-haired lover. He preferred someone who truly cared for who he was, not someone who spouted pretty lies while trying to flatter him.