Bridge ficbit – Rescue Rukia 12

“And Fenris is a youkai,” Rukia said, still not sure if she should be wary.

“Hanyou. We think. Hard to tell.” Ichigo shrugged again; trying for indifferent, but she could almost feel the awkward shyness rolling off him. “So. I said I’d help you with soul reaping. And I mean it. We’ve been trying to keep souls from turning into Hollows for years, and now-” He cut himself off, one hand touching where Sode no Shirayuki had plunged home. “I want to help. Even if it’s scary. I know scary. But….” He waved at the night. “I need time for them, too. Unless you want to try giving us a hand?”

Well. How could she back down from a challenge like that?

In two months, she’d learned more about youkai than in six years at the Academy. She’d learned the odd magic Loki had taught Ichigo’s friends; the way to claim a shape stronger, faster, tougher than a human’s, when you needed it to survive. A weakened shinigami in a gigai was so terribly vulnerable….

And she’d learned why, exactly, Karakura had recently been known as a quiet patrol area.

Mortals. Just mortals. But they’re helping us do our job.

She still hadn’t been looking forward to the reprimand on her record. But even if the penalties were harsh… her captain would be proud of her. And next to the Kuchiki house, where her own brother wouldn’t even look at her – how bad could a few decades of prison be?

Condemned. Execution.

It had been odd, how she hadn’t even felt surprised….

Don’t come, Ichigo, Rukia wished now, hands clenched together as she sat in her chair. You can’t help. You can’t. The captains themselves – my own captain – they’ll be ordered to destroy you. Don’t come!

The howl faded from the wind.


12 thoughts on “Bridge ficbit – Rescue Rukia 12

  1. That’s a good reason to her to become youkai. Makes sense with her character too. I get the feeling that Rukia hates feeling helpless. Not that too many people enjoy that feeling but I digress.

    And apparently another thing Yamamoto has forgotten over the years, if he ever knew it: It will save you a lot of stress if you don’t give orders you know will not be obeyed.

    And thinking about, I think ordering Rukia’s execution and all this mess is the straw that broke the camel’s back for Juushirou and Shunsui. They have been handed increasingly disagreeable to truly f-uped orders telling them to kill people or allow the comrades to be killed because of someone else’s actions and compromise their morals.

    Loyalty has limits. Especially toward an organization and governing body that has made it clear in the past that it will turn on you in a heartbeat without even giving you a chance to speak in your own defense. Or really allow anyone else too.

    Maybe I’m just too American or something but I think loyalty is a two-way street and that you have no obligation to maintain loyalty to someone or something that is not equally loyal to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a phrase about cooperation in ecology: “In anticipation of future reciprocation.” I.e., if you help something and it doesn’t help you back, you stop – because it’s threatening your survival to keep helping. Human loyalty and compassion is more deeply rooted in the physical world than most people realize!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Unfortunately, it is partly cultural in a way Westerners in general and Americans – like us – especially may find difficult to understand.

        I do NOT know all the details, the history or the sociological studies, so take everything I say with a grain of salt.

        Japan – and by extension Soul Society – has an honor based culture, and honor based cultures your worth and reputation are based on what is publicly known – true or untrue. How others regard you is determinant of your worth/value.

        Add to that that Japan is an island nation – a mountainous island with relatively little farmable land. Islands tend to have fierce competition over extremely limited resources to begin with, and where that doesn’t give way to chaos it gives way to extreme stratification and rigidly hierarchical power structures. The word from above is absolute, no matter how unfair. Going against it – or being seen as going against it – damages your honor/reputation automatically reducing your cultural worth to your peers.

        Some of these things have good reasons to be adopted. In the long run an ordered hierarchy is better at ensuring a greater number of people survive times of crises than unstable chaos, and in places like this people can feel it’s worth it to give up the good of the individual for the continued stability of the group.

        Ichigo is not that type. Renji isn’t either. Rukia wasn’t, but that internalized sense of honor combined with the pressure of living up to the honor of the Kuchiki clan put her in a wonderfully crushing and damaging position when it came to her sense not only of self but of ‘who she should be’ and her personal rights.

        And Soul Society as a whole is a great example of how that sort of a society has… flaws.

        Worth noting by the way: when people think of honor cultures Samurai culture tends to be the first that comes to mind. But if you want a good Western example of an honor culture than the Norse Vikings are actually an excellent one.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Two things to say here:

    1). Sorry Rukia, but when has Ichigo Ever done as he’s told? Especially when people are in danger. Hell that entire story about daiyokai, Fenris, and how he basically ended up in charge of Karakura’s yokai should answer that question nicely.

    2). Mortals: helping you with and making your jobs easier. This is Exactly what Uryuu’s grandfather was arguing for and why he made that argument. Hollows, souls, and the afterlife may be Soul Society’s business, but people have a right to protect themselves, whatever anyone else says be damned.

    I desperately want soneone who makes the same connection Rukia did here to take this to Yamamoto and to Make him listen. Because that? Is damn important.


    1. >I desperately want soneone who makes the same connection Rukia did here to take this to Yamamoto and to Make him listen. Because that? Is damn important.>
      It’s the whole ‘make him listen’ part of the plan that’s the issue.

      Because this guy’s so set in his ways, he’s probably starting to fossilize.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s terribly rude. I have seen fossils and stone golems with more life and flexibility to them than Yamamoto on a good day.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I could so easily see that.

        And they will probably have to do that in this universe anyway because Yama-jii might now recognize that all was not well in the state of the Soul Society because reality very firmly punched him in the face with that fact . . . he seems like the sort of person who will think that the only problem was Aizen, everything else is all fine and dandy, no need to change any of it.

        *Cue face-palming from certain characters*

        I can feel the more sensible Captain’s collective migraine from here. Some of them might have fantasies about what Yamamoto might be more useful as . . . an ice statue, perhaps? Too bad he could melt it away, darn fire wielders . . .

        Maybe a series of pranks is in order in addition to working in spite of obstinate old men?

        I know the line is cruchy and good with ketchup but I think Hyourinmaru and Toushirou’s youkai dragon self will both say yuck, he is way too old. The meat would be tough and hard to chew.

        No one is entirely certain if they were being serious or not.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Now, now; a certain respect for tradition helps keep everyone on an even keel. 😉 If they can just get him to not bother himself with the active mortals trying to help, it’d be an improvement.

        …And I can’t help but think Hyourinmaru would compare him to centuries-old jerky. Bleah.

        Liked by 1 person

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