Rabbit and Carrot

Chapter 57

If I used my knife, I can aim for the less vital areas. But he knows this, that's why he ordered me to use a gun...

I placed my hand on my gun hesitantly.

My eyes flicked between Silver Snake and my brother.

What do I do…?

"Time is ticking," Silver Snake warned.

I looked at my brother for help but he was surprisingly calm. Silver Snake also seems to be angered by this and pointed his own gun at me. "Hurry up, Kuchiki."

"Just do what he says!" someone from behind us ordered and I froze.

There was still about 50 people stuck in this restaurant. 1 life in exchange for 50. The answer should be obvious but…

I raised my arm slowly.

What if I aimed the gun at myself instead...?

"Rukia!" Someone grabbed my arm.

"Ichigo…?" I stared at that person in shock. 'I trust her' my ass, you do! I wanted to yell. What the heck are you doing back here again!

All of a sudden every light in the restaurant went out, plunging us into darkness.

The screams from the guests were deafening. Some began to run around and I was nearly knocked down a few times.

"Sorry I took so long," Yoruichi said. "It took me a while to find the master switch."

"Don't panic everyone," Urahara told us through the earpieces. "The cameras you turned on before lets me see in the dark… Yoruichi, you should be fine staying there. The three… four…of you run to your left. There are a few pillars there that you can hide behind for now."

Several people yelled, "What the hell is happening here?"

There were a few more gunshot sounds and I closed my eyes. Please don't let this become a repeat of the events on the ship.

"Remind me to never accept his party invitations again," I cursed under my breath.

"There won't be a next time, Kime," Urahara replied and I jumped. I had forgotten that whatever we said could be heard by everyone wearing Urahara's earpieces.

"Say… isn't it really quiet right now?" Yoruichi commented.

She was right. The screams have stopped.

"Well now we don't need to worry about witnesses," Kenpachi said with a shrug.

"Should I turn the lights back on?" Yoruichi asked, completely ignoring him.

"Yeah," Urahara said. "Alright time to move, guys. I've hacked into the surveillance cameras inside the building… It doesn't look good… Silver Snake seems to have back up – a lot of back up. They're swarming in from the back of the restaurant."

The lights came back on and I had to blink a few times from the brightness. There were blood splatters everywhere – on the ground, painting the walls and there were even a few specks on the roof. The bodies of the unfortunate guests littered the floor. Beside me, Ichigo stood frozen, staring at the scene around him. I leaned against the wall and sighed deeply. All these innocent people dead because of us…

"I thought I told you to leave," I scolded. If you hadn't come back you wouldn't have had to see this.

"You told me to get the two of them to somewhere safe and I did," he replied stubbornly and I sighed.

"Hey K, wanna see who takes out more guys?" Kenpachi challenged eagerly.

"I decline," my brother replied coolly.

"You're no fun," he growled in disappointment.

My brother glanced at him briefly before saying, "If you manage to catch the Silver Snake then for the next month I'll turn a blind eye on everything you do."

"Now that's what I'm talking about," he grinned and cracked his knuckles. After releasing another excited laugh, Kenpachi disappeared from his spot. You could easily tell which way the muscular giant had went by the long trail of groaning humans he left behind.

"I found you," a cheerful voice said.

Behind us, at the other end of the corridor, stood Shirayuki. She was holding a gun and it was pointed at my brother. I took a step forward in alarm.

"If you value your lives then don't move," she ordered. Although her voice was commanding her hands were shaking slightly.

I took another step forward and she pointed the gun at me, "I told you to not move! I really will shoot, you know!"

"Shoot me, then," I broke into a run. She gave a surprised yelp and tried to follow me with her gun bespite what she had said, she never pulled the trigger once.

Ichigo took this chance to run up behind her and grab her hands.

"Let go!" She struggled fruitlessly.

At the start, when she didn't show herself and just sent her followers to deal with me, I thought she was just being careful. However, when Ichigo caught her off guard and knocked her aside at the warehouse, I knew something was off.

And here, she was right behind us but she didn't shoot and also being caught by Ichigo just then proved my suspicions. Sure, many people prefer not to do sly sneak attacks like these but when they are faced with someone they hated so much they would've seized the chance immediately.

"You haven't been trained, have you?"

"So what if I'm not," she spat. "Not everyone is a monster like you."

"You knew that and you still came to face us alone?"

My brother picked up the gun Shirayuki had dropped and came to stand next to us. She just glared at us. "We would like to hear some answers from you."

"I'm not telling you anything!" She hissed.

"I don't think you have a choice," I reminded her. "You can try to remain silent but just so you know…we're very used to interrogating stubborn people."

"Why are you and your father so determined to fight Kings?" My brother asked. "After our last encounter, the Silver Snake could've moved to another place. I'm not interested in fighting to the death."

But now he is forced to, since the Silver Snake came back and challenged us again…

Shirayuki remained silent. I met eyes with my brother and he nodded.

"First chance gone," I stated before slowly bending back one of her fingers. Ichigo stared at my hand in shock. Shirayuki's eyes also widened and she struggled harder. With an extra strong push, there was a crack, and her finger was bent to an unnatural angle. Shirayuki gave a piercing scream that echoed throughout the restaurant. Ichigo stared at her, wide-eyed. I closed my eyes, "Next time it will be your arm."

"What are you doing? Get away from her!" A group of men, who probably followed the sound of her shrieks, rounded the corner.

"Help me," Shirayuki cried and they started coming toward us with angry shouts.

Ichigo tensed but my brother and I didn't spare them another glance.

Five distinct shots later, they fell to the ground and blood immediately seeped out of their chests.

"Headshots would've been too messy," Yoruichi reported. "Man… this sniper rifle is awesome! There's hardly any recoil."

"Take it with you when we leave, then. I'll order it from Gin."

"Yay, new toys," Yoruichi cheered.

"Oi, shoot down some of these for me," I heard Kenpachi say. "They're making it hard for me to reach the silver-haired guy."

"Oh, the great Kenpachi is having trouble?" Yoruichi teased. "Must be getting old."

"Shut up, damn cat," he growled back. "They're not putting up much of a fight. It's getting boring."

They continued to bicker, causing my brother to sigh before turning his attention back to Shirayuki. "I'll ask again, what are the reasons behind your actions?"

I mentally counted to five before I reached for her arm. Seeing me move Shirayuki shrieked, "I'll talk, I'll talk. Stop!"

"We appreciate your cooperation," I gave her a sweet smile. Amateurs are always quick to surrender.

She glared at me as she talked. "We're not aiming for Kings' territory or becoming famous… Rather than the whole of Kings, we're just aiming for the bitch who is currently standing in of me."

Standing in front… Me? I looked at my brother in bewilderment. I was pretty certain I haven't seen her anywhere before and I've never done anything to get on the Silver Snake's bad side either… None of the jobs I've done in the past was related to him or his gang…

"If it's about Matsumoto…"

"No," she interrupted angrily. "She was a spy, I get it. It was my fault I trusted her. Father kept me away from the matters of his yazkua group and I never got any experience… I'm talking about something that happened a few years ago…"

After a while I shook my head, "I don't remember doing anything to become the target of your hatred. Maybe you're mistaken?"

"You… How can you not remember?" she shouted angrily and tried to lunge forward only to be held back by Ichigo's strong hands. "You killed Nobuyuki!"

I froze at the mention of that name before I grabbed her throat. "Why do you know that name?" I demanded. I felt Ichigo's surprised stare bore into me but I ignored it. That name… I pushed away the memories desperately.

"He was my brother!"

I widened my eyes… That meant… He was Silver Snake's son…? Nobuyuki was…?

"Yo, Boss, what do I do with this?" Kenpachi asked in a slightly annoyed tone. He walked up to us while dragging something along like a sack of potatoes. He didn't even glance at Shirayuki as he passed. "It took a bit of time to takeout the insects around him and it took me another while to beat him but I finally caught him."

"Father!" Shirayuki yelled out in horror.

"Shirayuki?" The Silver Snake squinted at his daughter. "What are you doing here? I thought I told you to stay away."

I stared at the bloody mess the Silver Snake had been reduced to. His arm was bent at an awkward angle and his suit was stained with blood. His green eyes contrasted greatly with the dark blood covering his face.

"Is Nobuyuki really your son?" The words came out of my mouth before I could stop them.

"He was my son," he replied bitterly, "Until you brutally killed him even though he was begging for his life, you heartless devil!" He ended his sentence in a snarl but then broke into a coughing fit. He covered his mouth with his unhurt hand and it came away red.

"Everyone in the building come out immediately with your hands no your heads! Do not try to escape. We already have this place surrounded!" Someone outside announced through the megaphone.

"So… Do I kill him?" Kenpachi asked bluntly.

"Don't ask me," my brother's words surprised everyone. "He is Kime's enemy so ask her."

Another tirade of coughs attacked the Silver Snake and Shirayuki looked at her father worriedly. Ichigo's hold on her grew slack when he saw Silver Snake and she stumbled over to him. She cradled him in her arms.

"No!" Shirayuki hugged her father tighter. "Please, if you have to kill then kill me. It was all me! He already gave up last year but I still made him do this. Everything is my fault!"

"Kime?" I heard my brother say and I realised they were still waiting for my reaction.

I stared at the two again before opening my mouth.

"…Take them with us."
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