Rabbit and Carrot

Chapter 44

I held my hands in the air and examined them intently under the light.

If blood-stains were permanent, I wonder how red my hands would be…?

"Hey Ulquiorra."

"Yes Kime-sama?" He answered without looking up from his paperwork. I watched him circle words and underline others before finally signing it. He reached for another pile of paper and started the cycle all over again.

"How many people have you killed so far?"

His pen stopped and he looked up slowly. I went back to staring at my hands to avoid his gaze. The doctor at my apartment said my sprained wrist had healed so the bandages were removed earlier in the day.

"… I do not remember," He answered after a long silence.

"Thought so," I closed my eyes. "It's weird to keep track of how many lives you steal…"

"Why do you ask?"

I shrugged, "Curiosity, I guess."

I stared at my hands again.

"It is better this way, after all," I sighed.

It's scary how doing that seemed so natural for me.

"Pardon?"

"No one would want a murderer as their lover, would they?"

Ulquiorra looked at me for a full minute before saying, "I think you should take a break."

"I'm perfectly fine," I replied with a hint of malice.

"I'm not questioning your mental state," he answered calmly. "It's not just me. Everyone here has been thinking you've been over exerting yourself. Ever since you left the hospital, you've been rushing into every fight scene, big or small, that happens in this area."

"It's the leader's responsibility to take care of these things," I shrugged causing him to just stare at me.

"I know your ups-"

"I am not upset," I stood up and said defensively. "I'm feeling perfectly fine."

He ignored me, "29 deaths in 7 days. I wouldn't call it reckless killing since they all have done something to anger Kings but that death toll is really high for a peaceful area such as this one."

"You call this place peaceful?" I rolled my eyes. "At least 5 fights break out every day here. Sure, not many people die, but it's not exactly peaceful. Not to mention there's that group that we're still trying to find. This place needs to be taught a lesson that Kings aren't people who should be opposed."

"I request that you control yourself. You look like you're taking you're frustration out on other people and its unsightly," Ulquiorra said before going back to his paperwork. "And the more you kill the more paper work I have to go through. It is quite taxing and Kyouraku-san is complaining as well."

That's what he's worried about…?

"I'll keep that in mind," I said irritably and left his office.

"Kime-sama," two people ran up to me in the foyer. "There seems to be a fight in one of our clubs in the west side of town. We're heading there right now. Do you want to come?"

"You go first, I'll be there soon," I told them. They nodded and left. I walked outside the building and made my way there slowly.

"Kime."

I froze at the sound of the voice and turned around, "What do you want, Nel?"

She threw something in my direction and I caught it. It was a memory card. I looked at her with my eyebrow raised.

"You fulfilled your side of the deal so we did, too," she explained. "Those are all the photos we have."

"How do I know you're not lying?"

"If you find any evidence of us hiding any copies you have permission to kill me since I'm the one responsible for this deal."

"Killing you will do nothing but cause us more trouble," I clicked my tongue.

"Well, I guess you'll just have to trust me," she shrugged. I stared at her but she didn't seem to be lying. With a sigh, I pocketed the memory card.

"I'll believe you… for now. But if I find you've broken the deal then I'll track you down," I glared at her.

"Fine by me, but you won't need to, I dislike breaking promises," she shrugged.

"Tell me how you found out about this," I asked her before she could leave. Only the members in the gang knew about Ichigo and me breaking up. If Nel knew then that meant there was an informant hidden amongst us. But if Matsumoto was working with Nel and Ichigo told her…

"I have my sources," she smiled mysteriously and left before I could ask any more questions.


"Sorry we're clo – Ah, Kuchiki-san," Miyako looked at me in surprise.

I closed the door and smiled at her, "Hello."

She came up to me, "What happened to you? I heard from Matsumoto that you got hurt."

"I was just being stupid," I shrugged and answered vaguely.

"I see," she nodded slowly when she saw my reluctance to continue on that topic. "Anyway, it's good you dropped by because I wanted to tell you something."

"I wanted to ask you something as well," I replied and glanced around.

"Let's go somewhere else," she said as if reading my mind. "I'll treat you to dinner."

The family restaurant we went to was crowded. Kids were running around everywhere and the noise of the chatter was deafening but it provided the perfect environment for us to talk.

"I realised something was wrong about our conversation last time but I haven't had the chance to talk to you lately," I said and placed my fork back on the table.

"I've heard," she nodded while cutting her steak. "You've been very busy."

I scratched my head and sighed, "Anyway… about before… you said you wanted me to free you from your current situation. I had a think about it and the only problem I can think of that you might be facing is…" I trailed off.

"Yes, he is still alive," she replied softly, confirming my suspicions.

I sucked in a breath, "Then he is the one behind this?"

"I don't think so," she shook her head. "I've heard he's still recovering at one of his private islands. I haven't seen him since he got hurt but he has people keeping tabs on us."

I rubbed my chin thoughtfully, "Do you know who ordered the kidnapping of our members then?" An overly loyal underling, perhaps? Or is it someone who's just using the Silver Snake's name to rile us up...

"I heard it was his daughter behind these happenings but I've never met her before."

"He has a daughter?" I widened my eyes.

"He had a son as well," she replied. "His wife died after giving birth to him and his son died a few years ago. So I guess she's the only family he has now. It's actually pretty tragic…"

It never occurred to me that the Silver Snake had a family. Losing two of his family members must have been a pretty horrible experience but, after all the things he had done, I couldn't make myself pity him… I sat back in my chair, "Do you know anything else?"

"Unfortunately, no…but you can go here," she slid a paper across the table. "She'll probably know more information than me."

"Thank you." How many informants does Miyako have working for her? I found her looking at me strangely and I raised an eyebrow. Realising that I was staring back at her she quickly looked down and coughed. "What is it?"

She glanced up at me hesitantly, "Um… Did you two really break up?"

"Yeah," I replied nonchalantly as I sipped my chocolate milkshake. "Our opinions were too different... How did you find out?"

"Oh, Rangiku-san told me."

"I see," I sighed. Her, again? "That reminds me… Is she trustworthy?"

"Matsumoto Rangiku?" She said and I nodded. She furrowed her eyebrows and looked down at the napkin in her hands before meeting my gaze again. She looked like she had trouble deciding what to say. "I don't think so..."

"I knew it," I breathed out.

She seemed to hesitate but, after making up her mind, she leaned forward and told me, "I think the Silver Snake sent her here to keep an eye on me."

I balled my fists. I told him so! "Ichigo…" I glanced up at Miyako. "Can you tell him for me? I can understand if you can't. It'll be dangerous..."

She didn't look surprised at my request, "Of course, I'll warn him if I see him. He's been awfully close to her lately, and I saw Nel-san with her, too…"

That idiot, I inwardly groaned. No, wait… I shouldn't have to worry about him. After all, there is nothing between us now…

"I see you're still worried about him."

"I," I bit my lip before shrugging. "I'll feel bad if he gets dragged into this more…He was only targeted because he was my boyfriend before but now we're..."

Nothing… The word echoed hollowly in my head and I gritted my teeth.

I jumped at the feel of a hand touching my cheek.

"Have you had a good cry?" She asked softly with sad eyes. The feeling I received from losing Ichigo cannot be compared to her sadness when Kaien died.

"Now isn't the time to do that. I should go," I stood up and bowed slightly to her. "Thank you for the meal, Miyako-san."

"Wait," she grabbed my arm. "Breaking up seemed like the obvious solution but it might not be the best one. I think you should think about this more before it's too late otherwise you will really regret this in the future."

"Staying together will only just get him hurt more," I reasoned with her. "Besides, I feel nothing toward him now."

"I don't believe you," she replied with such confidence I was lost for words. "I've seen the way you two look at each other. The emotions you two hold for each other can't be broken this easily."

We stared at each other before I finally said in a quiet voice, "I'd rather him be alive and with someone else than stay with me and end up dying."

"He's stronger than you think he is, Kuchiki-san. Have faith in that boy."

"I'll think about it," I said reluctantly. I could no way out of this conversation if I didn't promise her that. Although it was a half-hearted promise, Miyako seemed happy about my answer.

She smiled, "I await your good news."

There won't be any, I thought desolately as I left, because he also wanted to break up with me.
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