The door behind us slammed open and an even larger wave of people rushed inside and lined up behind the rest of my captors. Reinforcements the hooded figure had called for when my brother's people had arrived.
I gasped as someone grabbed my neck from behind.
"Move and she loses her head," the fake K yelled. The cold blade was back against my neck. I felt more blood slowly trickle out.
"Don't. Touch. Me," my soft but cold voice reverberated throughout the whole warehouse.
I had had enough.
Surprising him, I leaned into the blade. With a sharp intake of breath he pulled the blade away. I pulled on his right hand while punching his lower abdomen to unbalance him. Without breaking my rhythm, I quickly stepped in front of his right leg and aimed another, harder punch at his stomach making him bend forward in pain. Before he even realised what was happening, I threw him over my hip.
The air whooshed out of his lungs when he collided with the concrete floor. I placed my foot firmly on his throat and scanned the shocked faces of his underlings.
I faltered when I saw Ichigo's face, trying to decipher his expression. Fear? Shock?
Eh… I must be seeing things.
I decided I would think about that later. While the fake Kings were still shocked at the sudden change in events, I turned to the people my brother had sent while tossing the hooded figure's blade into the air and catching it.
"Ten minutes," I said to them and gestured to the people behind me. "Leave the carrot."
"Yes, Kime-sama," they replied in unison.
I didn't like being called that name, but in situations like these and with this type of people, I was only known by that.
I settled down in the seat the fake K was sitting in before and freed my hair from its ponytail. Placing my elbow on the armrest, I rested my head on top of my palm as I watched chaos unfold.
For the first minute, it seemed as if the fake Kings stood a chance.
Emphasis on 'seemed'.
As pained cries emanated from all over the warehouse I leaned back in the chair, stretched and flicked on my iPod ready to enjoy the 'view' with a relaxed smile.
Ever since I pulled open the curtains in my room, I knew these people were already staked outside my apartment. The only unexpected thing that happened today was brother telling me to be careful and a certain person who resembled a certain vegetable appearing at the worst possible place.
"Argh," fake K suddenly let out a frustrated yell, pushed my foot away and jumped to his feet. "You're gonna pay for this, b*tch!" Another dagger appeared in his hand but before I could react, Ichigo appeared out of nowhere and knocked him down. The knife slid out of his grasp and stopped near my foot. I pocketed it and watched Ichigo repeatedly punch the living daylights out of the guy.
"Uh, thanks…?" I said to Ichigo when he stood back up, leaving the fake K unconscious on the ground.
"Now we're even," was his reply.
The floor was slowly being covered with groaning or unconscious men and women from his gang. As the last of my captors fell to the ground, my eyebrow twitched when I saw someone approaching Ichigo.
"I thought I said not to touch the carrot," I stood between him and Ichigo, who already had his fists up ready to fight him.
"Sorry, Kime-sama," Renji backed away sheepishly.
I looked down at the half-conscious male. His hood had fallen revealing a lanky man around his twenties with long, black hair and wearing a white eye-patch.
"We're not beaten this easily," his uncovered dark-grey eye narrowed and he said in a soft voice so only I could hear. "There are still more of us, many, many more of us."
"A gang is nothing without a leader," I told him.
He let out an airy laugh and gestured for me to come closer, "Ah, Rukia – or should I say Kime? I will tell you something."
Against my better judgement, I leaned forward.
"What makes you think I'm the leader?" he said in my ear. "It's a hundred years too early for this Kings to disband. We have more people working for us than you can imagine. Oh, and one more thing…"
After listening to what he had to say, I straightened back up and sent a solid kick to his head. His head snapped to the side and he stopped moving. I turned back to the men and women who had assembled in front of me after scanning the warehouse for anyone that wasn't taken care of.
Without a word, I headed for the exit. The rest followed me in silence.
After hesitating for a while, Ichigo trailed after us.
As I exited the door, I paused when I saw a flash of silver amongst the gaps between the warehouses. The only person I knew with silver hair was… I narrowed my eyes.
"Ha," Renji barked a laugh at the sea of defeated bodies in the warehouse and gave them the finger. "This is why you shouldn't mess with Kings, you idiotic bastards!"
I continued walking away from the warehouse with an inaudible sigh and everyone followed obediently behind me.
"I want this place burned down," I said to no one in particular.
"Oi…" Ichigo, who was the only person walking beside me, called. "Isn't that a bit over the top?"
"This whole place," I added, referring to all the buildings around us.
"Yes Kime-sama," the man nearest me answered and then bowed. He gestured to a few others and they went off in search for oil and fire.
"Hey," I felt Ichigo's hand on my shoulder as the sounds of explosions reached our ears. "Call them off. There are still people in there."
I opened my mouth but before I could say anything my vision began to blur and dizziness washed over me. Dark spots appeared in my vision and grew larger and larger until everything went black.
The first thing I saw when my eyes snapped open was a sea of white.
White ceiling, white walls, white floor, white door, white clothes, white bed, white sheets, orange hair…
I blinked again and a worried face appeared in my line of sight.
"Wah!" I yelled uncharacteristically and pushed the face away. "What were you doing so close for?!"
Ichigo rubbed his cheek which was already turning red, "Good morning to you, too."
I sat up in bed and checked my watch.
4 o'clock in the morning.
How long was I out for?
"Shouldn't you be at home?"
He shrugged, "My old man knows I'm here."
"Shouldn't you be sleeping, then?"
"I heard you stirring and I woke up."
I snapped my head to look at him, "You were sleeping in here?"
He gestured to the door with his head, "All those people there were freaking me out."
Oh, yeah, my sister was in this hospital, too. The words of my black-haired captor appeared in my mind and my stomach dropped.
"Right… They've probably already left," I hopped out of bed quickly, "You get back to sleep."
"Where are you going?"
"Checking on my sister," I replied and headed for the door.
"Hey, Rukia," I turned to look at him.
"What," I asked impatiently. I needed to see my sister now.
He rubbed his neck, "I'm sorry about what happened. I was just told to get close to you so they could… It was for money." He looked down in shame. "It's nothing personal, I swear, it's just-"
"I know," I cut him off. "It's OK." I bit my lip. So after all this time…
I walked out of the room but stopped when he started talking again.
"But I meant it, you know," He suddenly said and I looked into his eyes as he spoke softly. "When I asked you to go out with me… I couldn't get you out of my head."
That single sound echoed in the empty corridors like a bad dream.
I immediately broke into a run toward the sound of the gun shot. I saw my brother and Renji run toward me from the opposite direction. We stopped in front of the closed door.
The closed door that lead to my sister's hospital room…
"K," I looked over to see Kaien walk up to us with a worried expression. "I heard…"
My brother opened the door without hesitation. His broad shoulders covered the view but his gasp was unmistakable. Pushing him aside, I went into the room despite his warning.
First I saw white… then red.
No, no, no... My numb brain repeated that word like a broken recorder.
Going against my better judgement, I stumbled toward the hospital bed with shaky legs. I had to make sure.
"Nee-sama…" I reached for her hand which was slowly turning cool even as I held it. Tears filled my eyes and flowed down my cheeks within seconds. But they would never wash away what I saw in front of me.
My sister's head and face, covered with blood, and the ghastly bullet wound in her right temple.
I fell to my knees and covered my mouth to stop myself from screaming.
Something in my peripheral vision glinted and I reached for it with trembling hands.
My mind went blank.
Then that black-haired man's words filled my brain-"There's a traitor within Kings and they're going to destroy you from the inside out…"