I stepped out of the elevator with a sigh and then jumped back when I saw someone slumped across my sofa.
"Ah, Rukia, welcome home," she said and sat up while rubbing her eyes tiredly. "I waited for you for so long I fell asleep."
"What are you doing here?" I sat down next to her and looked around. "Is Nii-sama here, too?"
"No, only me," Hisana replied and draped an arm across my shoulders. "I came over because I was feeling a bit lonely."
"Lonely?" I asked her whist feeling bewildered. Servants and butlers were at her every beck and call and brother went to no bounds to keep his precious wife happy.
"Lonely," my sister confirmed with a frown. "Recently, Byakuya's been terribly busy. I think that fake Kings group is causing quite a ruckus. Your brother is thinking of getting rid of them before they get any worse. The number of fake Kings members he's put into jail already is shocking."
A certain carrot appeared in my mind and I widened my eyes, "They're can't be that bad…?"
"Twenty-two robberies and nearly twelve arsons in the past week," my sister sighed. "Countless fights had already broken out among the small yakuza groups here and at least thirty people have been sent to hospital."
"…for a gang," I finished my sentence and bit my lip. "But there's, uh, a person who I know just joined them. What will brother do with him?"
She paused and then turned to look at me cheekily, "Oh, is it that boy Kaien told me about? The son of Dr Kurosaki? The one you turned down Gin-san for?"
So Kaien really did tell... Just hope they don't think of any crazy ideas…
"Well, your brother has heard about him from Kaien and from some reports, too," my sister smiled knowingly at my reaction. "He wants to recruit him and see if he's any good."
"What? Why?" I spluttered, "Nee-sama, he's a retard, bastard, idiot, self-centred delinquent who…"
"Because you won't join, Rukia," my sister said with a hint of disappointment. "I'm sure he's not as bad as you say he is. After all, he's the son of that doctor, isn't he? And he is quite famous around here. Fearless and daring… good attributes."
"But…" I bit my lip.
"Try and see if he's interested for us, okay, Rukia?"
"Hey, Rukia," She suddenly leaned forward with bright eyes and lowered her voice. "I heard rumours that Kime is back."
"So?" I leaned back in my seat and crossed my arms nonchalantly but bit my lip. "I heard about it, too. But it's going to be a one-time thing, right?"
"Oh, one-time thing," more disappointment crept into her tone. "Well, I'd wish to see her again."
"You never know, Nee-sama… Things are changing, I guess," I shrugged.
"I hope so. Now where are those cookies I saw your chef make last time…" she wandered into my kitchen.
"In the cupboard to your right," I sighed and began to wonder what I should do. I didn't want to think about the things I'll need to do if that Kime went around causing trouble…
"How are you feeling these days?"
"Perfectly fine," my sister replied while munching on a cookie. "The medicine Dr Kurosaki gave me works very well. I don't remember the last time I had an asthma attack."
"That's good," I said in relief before returning to my thoughts.
Maybe brother would change his mind if I agreed to join… No, I'm never doing that!
Words didn't seem to penetrate Ichigo's thick skull. And I doubt he will believe it if I tell him he joined a fake gang without evidence. That leaves only action, right?
And then there was the problem with Kime…
Hmm… what to do…
"If B was subtracted from A and the answer is 4. What is the value of A when A plus B is 12?"
"A is 8," Ichigo rolled his eyes and gave me a 'this again?' look. "And hello to you, too."
"I don't get it," I frowned. "Why would someone with a brain like yours join a gang? You could easily get any job you want if you tried. You could even become a doctor like your father."
"What's the use of being a doctor if you can't even save your wife?"
"What?" I looked up from my textbook in bewilderment. Did I hear that right?
"Nothing," he sat down and leaned back in his chair.
"Ichigo, doesn't your father mind?" I asked him after a moment of silence. "About you joining Kings, I mean."
Ichigo shrugged, "He can't do much about it… Hey, think you can tell me which yakuza gang that's working for Kuchiki Enterprise?"
I shook my head.
"Ah," he said, feeling slightly disappointed. "No one knows which group is working for your brother."
"And we'd like it if it remained that way," I returned to my textbook. "Haven't you ever heard that curiosity killed the cat?"
He shrugged. "The cat has nine lives. It can afford to lose one."
"You should get some studying done. The test is… next week." I stared at the calendar on my phone. Since when had time gone by so fast? Wait, had I really been with this guy for nearly three months already?
"I'll be fine," he reassured me.
I grabbed his collar as panic suddenly overwhelmed me, "I won't forgive you if you don't pass! I don't care if you get expelled or not but I still want to be the school president!"
"I know, I know," he rolled his eyes. "I'll pass it, I promise. I owe you one, remember?"
"Good," I narrowed my eyes at him. "You better try your hardest."
"Yes, mum," he sighed dramatically and flipped open a random textbook. "See?"
I gave him a rare smile which left him frozen for a full minute.
"Woah," he finally said when he returned to normal. "Don't do that again. It'll give people nightmares."
"Bastard," I hit him on the head with my book.
…Was my smile really that scary?
"Kuchiki-Kaichou," a black-haired boy opened the door of the student council room. "There's a few girls, um, looking for you near the front gate."
"Ok," I stood up from my seat and walked to the gates, wondering why he looked so distressed.
My questioned was answered when I saw a group of girls from another school standing near the gate. A burnt-orange-haired girl was pacing impatiently in front of the group with her arms crossed.
"Are you Kuchiki Rukia?" she pointed at me rudely when she saw me.
"Yes, I am, and you are?" I asked her.
Warm blood trailed down the three gashes the girl's nails made when she slapped me.
It was the first time I had been scratched. As I tried to get my mind around that fact someone appeared at my side.
"Inoue," Ichigo barked angrily. "What the f*ck are you doing?" He put his arm around my shoulders and I leaned toward him.
I was still in shock, honest, otherwise I would have never done that.
Back to the situation…
Several delinquents appeared behind us, brandishing hostile expressions.
"Kurosaki-kun~" the girl, Inoue, looked a bit taken aback. "Why are you on her side?"
"Why are you here," Ichigo asked, ignoring her question.
Inoue pouted and gestured to the other girls beside her while saying, "They told me there was a rumour about you having a girlfriend."
I spluttered. She said what?
"So what if she's my girlfriend? That doesn't mean you can come to our school and start attacking people."
I spluttered again. He said what?
I was distracted by drops of blood that fell from her nails and to the ground. My blood. I narrowed my eyes.
I wanted her hand.
"But you're meant to be my boyfriend," Inoue's whinging voice was getting on my nerves.
I tried pushing Ichigo's arm away from my shoulders but his hand refused to budge.
Ichigo was sounding angry now, "Inoue, how many times do I have to tell you? I am not your boyfriend."
"But Grimmjow-aniki said-"
"I won that race, Inoue," Ichigo butted in. "A deal is a deal, Inoue, I'm not your boyfriend."
Oh, so that was what the motorbike race was about. I can't believe guys had competitions about this… It felt like the name of motorbike racing was somehow tainted…
"Go back, before I decide to have your hand."
Ichigo was the one that said that, not me. He sounded like a real yakuza.
I glanced at him in surprise. There's no such thing as mind-reading abilities right?
The girl glowered for a moment and turned to walk out of our school. Before she left, though, she pointed at me one last time, "Don't think you've won! Kurosaki-kun will come back to me one day!"
"C'mon, you need to get to the infirmary," Ichigo grabbed my hand and pulled.
I followed him with my mind in a haze.
"Ow," I complained when he dabbed at my wound. "Can't you be a bit gentler?"
Ichigo huffed and threw the cotton wool down on the table, "What happened to your black-belt Karate skills? You could've knocked her unconscious before she even got the chance to touch you."
She wouldn't be unconscious, Ichigo, she would be dead.
I pulled my mind away from those literally murderous thoughts and replied to him. "It doesn't work that way, Ichigo. I didn't know she was going to slap me."
"You gonna be alright?" he asked while putting a large bandage on my cheek.
"I'll be fine," I rolled my eyes. "I don't get why you went through all this trouble. It's only a small scratch."
"If you're not careful, the cut might get infected," he said sternly.
"Really," I huffed in annoyance. "Make up your mind!"
I crossed my arms, "Some days you're a total bastard gangster wannabe and then on other days you are the complete opposite… coming in to help me like that… What kind of rebellious teenager are you? Like I keep saying, you don't suit being a delinquent. You're too kind!"
"Only to you."
My head snapped up but he was looking away so I couldn't see his expression. "Wha-?"
"I gotta go," he interrupted. Then he straightened up and patted my head. It's become a habit – him patting my head just before he leaves. "And I thought you were in the middle of a meeting?"
I cursed, "I got to go, bye!"