Rabbit and Carrot

Chapter 47

I woke up to silence save for the occasional sound of someone flipping the pages of a book. I felt my forehead with a frown. It felt oddly warm for some reason…

"Good morning." I looked to my left in surprise to see Ulquiorra looking back at me while closing the book in his hands. "You look disappointed, Rukia-sama. Were you perhaps expecting to see someone else?"

"Why would I be? I have no interest in Ichigo anymore." Ah… There's nothing better than starting the day off with an outright lie. I could see Ulquiorra continue to hide his smirk and I wondered briefly if I just said something funny. All well, I had more important things to take care of.

"How long did I sleep for?" I went into my walk-in closet to change.

"A day and a half," Ulquiorra replied. "You should rest more. You're fever only just went away a few hours ago."

"I can't afford to waste time," I walked out dressed in a simple shirt and skirt. I went over to my chair and took the white hoodie that was draped over my chair. "SY knew Kuukaku betrayed her. We need to find Miyako, if she hasn't been captured by them already."

"What about the report about what happened with SY a few nights ago?"

"I'll write it when I know Miyako's safe. I promised her that I would help her no matter what," I left my bedroom. I couldn't help but look at Ichigo's closed door as I walked passed.

"I see you're all better now," I froze and looked up. Ichigo looked back at me from his place on the sofa. Chappy was napping in his lap and he was scratching her head gently.

"Yeah, thank you for your concern," I walked stiffly to the front door.

"...Don't die."

I tightened my grip on the handle before I opened it and left without saying anything.

The lobby was empty except for the girl sitting behind the reception desk. She greeted and bowed respectfully as I walked passed to leave the building.

"Hello, Miyako-san," I said into my phone. "Have the clothes I ordered arrived?" I said in case there were people around her. After what Kuukaku and I did, I wouldn't be surprised if the security had tightened. I bit my lip and hoped she caught on…

"Ah Kuchiki-san, right?" Miyako answered after a slight pause. "Um… It's arrived but I'm not at the shop right now."

"You're not? But it's just passed noon so it can't be Matsumoto-san's shift yet."

"I closed the shop for the day," she explained quickly. "My husband came back from a business trip today and I decided to take a day off to be with him."

I stopped walking. Her husband? But Kaien was…

"I see. Do you mind if I just pop in and pick it up?" I had to confirm it. "I really need it. I won't steal anything, I promise."

"No!" She became more panicked and I started walking again in a faster pace. "I'm sorry but please come back another day."

"Well if you put it that way… I guess I'll just drop by another time."

"Yes, thank you. My husbands calling me now so I have to go. Goodbye, Kuchiki-san."

As soon as she hung up, I broke into a run while I dialled another number, "Ulquiorra. I need people at Miyako's shop as soon as possible. Hurry up! I'm going there now."

Without waiting for his reply, I hung up and dialled another number, "Kuukaku! Are you alright?"

"I'm fine," she replied. "What's wrong?"

"Miyako-san," I gritted my teeth. Please let me get there before something happens… "I think SY sent someone to her shop. I'm going over now."

"What?" I heard the sound of a chair tumbling over. "I'll be right there."

Pocketing my phone, I hurried to the location of Miyako's shop. It was closed like she said and I hesitated at the door. None of the lights were turned on so I couldn't see anything inside. There was no one around the shop, either. If SY really did send people here, wouldn't there be people outside guarding the place? Did she really get a new partner...? The memory of the expression she had back at the family restaurant told me otherwise, though.

I pushed the door slightly and, to my surprise, it was already unlocked. With a deep breath to prepare myself, I slipped inside. I scanned the area but I couldn't see anyone in the shop. It was completely silent as well.

Did I misinterpret our phone call?

I walked around the shop, feeling my way around it. When I got to the counter, I found a door behind it. Placing my ear against it, I heard faint sounds from inside.

"Where is she?"

"I told you, I don't know," a woman replied.

Miyako…! I gritted my teeth.

"You were talking to her just then, weren't you? There's no use pretending. SY already knows of your betrayal," another man's voice yelled.

"I don't kn- KYA!"

"Stop," I kicked the door open.

The room was usually used by Miyako and other staff members as a resting place of sorts. There was even a small kitchen that they could use to heat up or cook meals. There were three men and Miyako in the room. One of the men had grabbed a fistful of Miyako's hair and kept her pinned against the wall. Her face was covered with bruises and there was blood trickling down the side of her mouth.

"No," Miyako gasped in horror. "I told you not to come!"

"It's Kime!" The three men ran toward me. I pulled out my gun and shot them before they had the time to react. Their bodies fell to the floor with a blunt thump and Miyako's face got even paler. She started to shake her head as I walked up to her.

"Go back, Kuchiki-san," Miyako practically begged as I untied her. "You shouldn't be here."

"You've been saying that non-stop ever since I arrived," I helped her out of the chair and frowned. The unlocked door… the easily defeated three men… it didn't seem right.

She surprised me by grabbing my arms, "This is a trap! You need to get back to your apartment!"

"What do you mean?"

"I'm sorry. They used me-"

The sound of dozens of footsteps interrupted her sentence. I pulled out both of my guns and tensed but it was only Kuukaku and her followers.

"Are you OK?" Kuukaku ran up to Miyako and checked her injuries.

"I'm fine," she shook her head. "More importantly… Kuchiki-san, please go back now! I'm only a decoy! They're going after Kurosaki-kun! That's why I told you not to come here and yet…"

"Ichigo?" I widened my eyes. I met eyes with Kuukaku, she nodded and I quickly left the building. Ichigo… Fuck, why is he still getting involved again!

Ulquiorra was getting out of his car when I left Miyako's shop. His eyes widened when he saw me running toward him but I just pushed him back into his car and climbed into the passenger seat.

"We're going back to the apartment! Hurry up!"

"You tell me to rush over here and-"

"Hurry up or I'll drive," I hissed at him while pulling out my phone. "Who's left at the apartment?"

"I called most of the people here because you sounded so urgent before..."

I punched the dashboard and cursed under my breath. I felt right into her trap… "Ulquoirra, drive faster. I don't care if we get fined just get me back there as soon as possible."

"Yes, Kime-sama."

Ichigo… please be safe…

As soon as we got back, I ran up to our apartment.

"Ichigo, where are you?" I ran into his room. I gritted my teeth as I searched the whole apartment. Fuck, this is turning out to be like my dream! "Ichigo…"

"Kime-sama," Ulquiorra came up behind me.

"What?" I answered irritably while trying to figure out how to find him.

"We've found the location where Kurosaki-san is."

I looked up in disbelief but I also felt relieved, "How did you…?"

"I'll explain later," Ulquiorra said. "We should head over there now. I'll tell everyone to head there as well."

"Have some people stay with Miyako and Kuukaku in case SY has more dirty moves hidden up her sleeve."

"Of course, Kime-sama."

I watched the world outside fly past us as Ulquiorra raced down the streets and I tapped my foot impatiently.

SY, whoever you are, I will make you regret doing this!

"Stay here on standby," I told Ulquiorra while getting out of the car. He started to object but I stopped his complaints with my glare. "Come in when the others have arrived and make sure there's an ambulance available, as well."

"I thought you don't like to stay at hospitals when you get hurt, Kime-sama."

"Oh, the ambulance won't be for me, Ulquiorra. It'll be for them," I hissed and slammed the car door shut. I felt Ulquiorra's gaze bore into my back but I didn't look back. How will I face Ichigo? A little voice in my head asked hesitantly. Causing him to get kidnapped even though we weren't even together anymore...

I surveyed the warehouse in front of me and I sighed at the cliché while I pulled my hoodie up. Why do kidnappers always choose to keep their captives in a warehouse? I pushed open the door to find all the lights in the warehouse were turned on. At least two hundred people stared back at me and I instinctively reached for my blades.

"Welcome, Kime," I heard Matsumoto's voice. I searched my surroundings and found her at the opposite end of the warehouse. Beside her, on his knees, gagged and with his arms tied behind him was none other than Ichigo. His face was badly bruised and his right eye was black and swollen. Matsumoto smirked at me triumphantly but in her gaze there was also a hint of… panic…?

"You…" I took a step toward them. The huge crowd of people tensed in response.

"So, we finally get to meet face to face like this," I froze at the sound of another girl's voice. I found her leaning against the wall near the place where Matsumoto and Ichigo were. Again, her face was hidden by a simple white mask. "You're dying to know who I am, right? I already found out who you are so there's no use for you to hide your face, Kuchiki Rukia."

I gritted my teeth. Although the people in front of my stayed quiet, their eyes were all widened at the new piece of information.

Dammit… The secret! Looks like all these people will have to...

I glared at the person responsible for all of this. Whoever you are… be prepared for hell!

Indeed, as Kuukaku had said, she was dressed in white and had amazingly long hair –long, lilac-coloured hair.

Wait.

My heartbeats sped up. It couldn't be...?

As I stared at her, she removed the mask and I saw she had light blue-coloured eyes and…

"Rukia-chan – No, Kime," Yuki smiled at me but it wasn't the kind I was used to seeing. Instead, it was an ice-cold smile that radiated pure hatred. "I am Shirayuki - the daughter of Silver Snake."
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