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Title: What You Wish For.

Author: Starvinbohemian.

Rating: NC-17.

Pairings: Rukia/Kaien and with all the implications this would have on Rukia/Everyone Else.

Summary: “Drown not thyself to save a drowning man.” An AU wherein Aaroniero really was Kaien. Rukia comes to terms with what it would have meant for Kaien to be alive.


One | Two | Three



What You Wish For


Chapter Four


          One day, Kaien doesn’t show up to join her for patrol.

          Rukia doesn’t find it strange. Renji has more or less accused her of monopolizing his time, and if Kaien chooses to spend his day elsewhere, then he’s helping to prove Renji wrong.

          However, her sense of calm evaporates when she turns a corner and runs right into Ukitake. His grim expression triggers a vicious grip on her heart. “Is it Kaien-dono?” she asks immediately.

          “He isn’t with you then?” he asks, obviously disappointed.

          The bottom drops out of her stomach. Something’s happened. She can feel it.

          “No one can find him. I was hoping he was with you.”

          He’s missing. Panic, hot and hideous, blooms in her chest. “Captain, please allow me to—”

          “It’s all right, Rukia," Ukitake interrupts. He smiles sadly but with immediate understanding. "You can help search for him.”

          “Thank you, Captain!” The words are barely out of her mouth before she’s racing into shunpo.

          Rukia searches everywhere she associates with Kaien. The memories come surprisingly easily, but he isn’t in any of his favored places. Not his favorite restaurants, training spaces, or resting spots. With each failure, her panic escalates.

          Kaien’s simply vanished.

          She’s run out of options when a sudden thought comes to her and she swiftly changes direction, heading toward the mountains. She has already checked Mt. Koifushi, but at the time she doesn't think to climb higher. This time, she does.

          The idea to check the clearing doesn't come initially because Kaien only brought her here once.

          “What are we doing here, Kaien-dono?”

          “What’s with that skeptical expression? Let down your hair for once and take in this beautiful view, Kuchiki!”

          It is beautiful. On the opposite side of the mountain from Mt. Koifushi, which hovers over Rukongai, the clearing overlooks green as far as the eye can see. Instead of depressing shanties, she sees endless trees.

          “Yes, but what are we doing here?”

          Kaien snorts. “Always business with you, huh, Kuchiki? Fine. Give me first dance. Let me see tsukishiro.”


          When she finally feels that much desired reiatsu, she nearly cries with relief. He’s here, somewhere.

          “Kaien-dono!” she cries, spinning around. “Where are you?”

          He doesn’t answer immediately. She’s about to shout again when she hears his voice say, “What are you doing here, Kuchiki?”

          She spins around and sees him.

          Yesterday, he was fine. He laughed and joked. He was Kaien-dono.

          Today, he isn’t.

          “I asked what you’re doing here,” he growls.

          Rukia swallows. “Everyone is looking for you, Kaien-dono. They’ve been worried.”

          He tilts his head, studying her with dark eyes. “You’ve been looking for who?” he asks quietly.

          “For… for you. Are you all right?”

          “Why wouldn’t I be?” he asks, coming toward her. His reiatsu fluctuates wildly, reminding her suddenly of Ichigo.

          She’s found him, but something still feels wrong. She doesn’t like the way he’s looking at her.

          Rukia stills as Kaien circles her, so close his sleeves brush against her back. What is he doing?

          “Were you worried, Kuchiki?” he murmurs.

          She has to remind herself to breathe. “Yes, Kaien-dono.”

          “Why?” he asks, coming around so that they’re once again face-to-face. “What were you afraid of?” His grin has all the coldness of Aaroniero and none of the warmth of Kaien. “Who did you think you’d find?”

          Rukia’s fears are legion now, spreading out in every direction. She blinks, and he appears to come apart like a kaleidoscope. “We… should get you back home,” she says shakily. Something’s breaking, and she needs to get him away from this place.

          “Where is home? Is that Soul Society? Hueco Mundo? With… you?”

          He’s mocking her, she knows, but she says, “Here. Soul Society is your home. You’re home now, Kaien-dono.” Saying it makes it feel closer to the truth.

          “You keep calling me that.”

          There. Her fear finds a holding and a crack goes down the center of the world. Does she have the strength for this? “That’s who you are,” she says without conviction.

          He pretends to consider this. “You know, I don’t think so.”

          She can have this conversation if she pretends it’s all a dream. “Then you are… Aaroniero?”

          The false calm disintegrates, and a burst of furious spirit pressure surges toward her. “Who knows?” he cries. “We were fine, one and all, until you showed up and broke us. It’s all wrong now!”

          All she can bring herself to think in this moment is that he was fine yesterday. What happened?

          You showed up and broke us.

          He’s broken. She broke him. How could she have let him down again?

          It’s all wrong now.

          “Kuchiki…”

          Her head snaps up. That tone… Kaien. Somehow, he’s Kaien again.

          His face crumbles as he backs away from her. “You should have left us there.”

          “No…” How could she have left him there? How?

          He’s too close to the edge of the cliff now. Another step, and he’ll go over.

          He thrashes about like someone unhinged. “Yes, damn you! What good am I now? I only know what I’m supposed to do when I’m around you. When you aren’t there, everything blends together, and I don’t know what’s real anymore! What have you done to me?"

          She's asleep. She has to be, and this is another nightmare. "Kaien-dono..."

          "Stop calling me that! I don’t know who I am, but I don’t think I’m Shiba Kaien. You brought back an imposter.”

          Dream or not, she can’t bear to hear this. “Stop it, Kaien-dono!”

          “Why? So you won’t have to hear the truth? You aren’t listening to me! No one is listening to me!”

          He’s too close to the edge. “Please, be careful!” she begs, lurching forward to pull him back.

          In a move too quick for her eye to catch, Kaien gets a hand around her neck and slams her back against a tree several feet behind her. The sharp impact steals her breath and rattles her ribs.

          The look on his face reminds her of a rabid dog that chases her up a tree one particularly hot Rukongai summer day. She sees in its eyes that the animal wants her blood, and Renji has to beat it off with sticks and rocks before it finally limps away, eyes still mad with fever lust.

          Renji isn’t here now, and Rukia chokes against Kaien’s fingers. He leans forward so that his hot breath pants against her ear. He's coming unraveled.

          “Do you have any idea what we want to do to you right now?” he snarls. “How you smell to us?”

          Rukia thinks of the dog and figures she has a pretty good idea. She tries to tell him to fight these impulses, but all that comes out are broken gasps as he presses against her windpipe.

          “If you had the slightest idea, then you wouldn’t look at us like that with those pretty eyes.”

          We. Us.

          She realizes the very real danger that he could kill her now-- worse, he wants to-- and something snaps in her.

          He gasps when Rukia’s knee comes up into his stomach. As he doubles over in pain, she pulls out her sword and places it against his neck. Her foot presses down on the center of his chest.

          “I’m not listening to you because you’re speaking nonsense!” she snaps more out of fear than bravado. “You don’t know who you are? Well, I do. You’re Shiba Kaien. That’s all you need to know.”

          He glares up at her. “You can’t just say that and make it true.”

          A kick in the head isn't going to work this time, Rukia realizes. Not with him. “Forget the rest,” she pleads.

          He grabs her ankle and flips her over onto the ground. Her sword goes flying out of her grip. Rukia tries to get up quickly, but he’s already on her.

          “Can you forget?” His large body presses her down as he shakes her by the shoulders. “Can you, Rukia?”

          “Yes!” she screams.

          Something shifts in his expression, and she sees Kaien, summoned by her desperate sincerity.

          “You...”

          “Yes,” Rukia repeats.

          His gaze hardens again. "Prove it," he snaps.

          She can’t tell who moves first.

          Kaien kisses her, but she pulls his face down.

          From somewhere, a voice whispers, This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen. She doesn’t care. The spontaneous combination of their movements causes something to click into place, and every emotion becomes translated into kinetic energy.

          Rukia lets her body tell him all the things she could never say with her voice. She clutches his face, his beautiful face, and kisses him with several decades worth of restrained passion, saying, yes, your home is with me. I have your heart.

          He kisses her angrily, his tongue a weapon sent to subdue her. Without pretense, Kaien eagerly strips Rukia of her uniform, so far gone he barely seems to see her. His eyes, windows to a soul she no longer recognizes, have gone glassy. But she can bring him back. She will.

           She has difficulty undressing him because every time she breaks away, Kaien draws her back. His movements are a tide and they say, now, now, now. She tries to give him now, but he unintentionally sabotages them both in his impatience. Eventually, she gets frustrated and just tears the fabric of the yukata that looks so wrong on him from his shoulders.

          The first brush of skin against skin makes her gasp.

          Maybe later she’ll think about how this was never supposed to happen. About how even if this were always written into their destinies, it never should have been in the open like this, desperate and angry, without finesse or romance. But those kind of thoughts will have to wait, because all Rukia can think now is save him, save him now.

          Kaien bites her neck so hard her fingers convulsively clutch clumps of his hair even as she throws her head back to give him fuller access, saying, yes, yes, please. His warm mouth moves down her neck to her chest, and Rukia whimpers. One of his hands slips between her legs at the same time as he mouths her breast and she cries out, unrestrained.

          She touches him with a fervor that says she can make him Kaien, forever— can impress the image into his skin so that he never questions it again. Rukia’s hands run over his chest and arms, down his thighs, saying, always you, always you. His body seems to respond, need you, yes, Rukia. She’s imagined this so many times, but never came close to imagining the raw power of this, now, between them.

          With a move that leaves her spinning, Kaien tugs her up so that she’s straddling his lap. As her arms go around his neck, and his close around her back, their eyes meet.

          Never has Rukia ever thought he would look at her this way.

          Her chest suddenly feels tight enough to snap. Face burning, she kisses him so that he can’t look at her as she finally moves her hand down between them to his straining cock. Kaien moans, breaking the kiss. He drops his forehead onto her shoulder as she delicately traces him, memorizing him through touch.

          Yes, yes, want you forever
.

          Kaien has become something ephemeral, drifting in and out of existence and always in danger of disappearing, but if she’s touching him, then he can’t disappear.

          Don’t ever leave me again, she says by rubbing her cheek against his hair. She wants the smell of him to coat her everywhere. Kaien returns his hand to that special spot between her legs, and she convulses, legs tightening around his waist. Never leave me, never again, I’d die

          Touching each other as they are, Rukia doesn’t think they could ever be more joined together as they are now. Every piece of him is touching every piece of her. At least, she thinks this until Kaien suddenly tips them over, and her back hits the ground with a painful thud. He climbs over her, and she suddenly realizes she’s about to get something she has never been allowed to want, not from him.

          But to her surprise and frustration, Kaien pauses above her, seemingly struck by something. Rukia's breathing comes in jagged stops and starts as she stares, confused, up into his face.

          “Kuchiki,” he breathes, barely a whisper, as if seeing her for the first time. His large hand traces her face, and she’s so moved by the gesture and the tenderness in his gaze that her eyes well up with tears.

          “Please, Kaien-dono,” she says, aloud this time, honest in her need.

          Kaien enters her, and they cease to be separate beings. Rukia loses track of herself. Twined together in a shared fever dream, they rock together, over and over… It’s too much. They’re burning. I love you, I love you, her body chants. We’re burning

          Kaien stifles a sharp cry against her shoulder, pumping his last few frantic thrusts into her. Moaning in relief, he sags on top of her. Lost to pride, Rukia whines in frustration until he slips his hand between them to finish her off. He pants against her ear as she writhes beneath him. Need you, need you, always, yes, please, love you, oh, oh..

          As her orgasm hits her, Rukia simultaneously dies and becomes reborn.

          Tomorrow, the world will be new.

*   *   *


Read on to Part Five...
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starvinbohemian

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