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 The Good Life

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PostSubject: The Good Life   Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:50 am

The Good Life: Part 1

It was very ironic that I actually started to write this story about Rukia trying to become a Vice Captain just a week before the character became a Vice Captain in the manga. Oh well...

Yoruichi loves to teach, so when Rukia approaches her for training, she is quick to accept the challenge, much to Sui-Feng’s displeasure. Yorusoi friendly.

Please read and review.


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It was morning in Seireitei as Byakuya and his sister Rukia were having breakfast in their estate dining room. The two sat across from each other at the large dining table eating in easy silence. After awhile Rukia looked up from her plate.

“Brother, I heard yesterday that Gotei 13 was creating a list of candidates for tryouts to help filled the captain and vice captain vacancies in the 3rd and 5th Divisions.”

“Yes,” Her brother replied in his usual monotone voice. “I was the one who helped draft the proposal.”

Ever since the Winter War, those two nearly leaderless Divisions have been picked clean, manpower wise to strengthen Gotei 13 remaining Divisions. The worse offender was the 2nd Division but for a good reason, Sui-Feng people suffered the most casualties because they were on the frontlines to defend the Soul Society and needed the replacements to strengthen their thinning ranks quickly. Now, with the Winter War behind them, it was decided to get those two neglected Divisions back up and running immediately. The best way to do that was with tryouts within the ranks of Gotei 13 and let the strongest and smartest determine the winner. The only thing required was that the candidate must have achieved Shikai for a vice captain’s position and Bankai for a captain’s.

“I wish to add my name as a candidate for one of the vice captain positions.” Rukia announced softly.

“You are a young woman and you no longer need my permission.” He finally admitted.

“I know brother.”

“But you must realize there are only two vice captain openings and you have no seated position. You will also be facing dozens of competitors. It will be difficult.”

“Yes brother, but I wish to try, regardless.” Rukia said and she watched as her brother gave her a thoughtful look.

“Do you have a plan?”

She shook her head. “Not yet.”

“You only have a month to prepare before the tryouts start. I do not have the time or the ‘ability’ to train you before that date. However, if you are determined, there is one person who can help you. I would suggest you seek out Yoruichi Shihoin.”

He caught his sister’s surprised look and he gave the smallest of shrug. “I may call into the question of her character but her skills are beyond reproach. She can teach you much but all I ask is that you not do pick up any of her ‘habits’. Besides, considering what she did for training Ichigo, you should do just as well in half the time.”

Rukia smiled warmly. “Thank you brother, your support means much to me.”

Byakuya merely nodded his head in acknowledgment, satisfied that his sister now had what she needed now to accomplish her goal.

For the longest time, Byakuya had been quietly using his influence to keep Rukia in the lower ranks so she could be safe. If she should receive any promotion, it would put her in greater danger. Captains, Vice Captains and Seat Officers led out in front, that’s how it is. Lately, he was having second thoughts in that wisdom. His last interference cost Rukia the vice captain position in the 13th Division but instead of being devastated for being looked over again, she worked and trained even harder.

Now here she is again, trying to grasp the opportunity for a promotion in one of the other Divisions. He was proud of her determination and at the same time, ashamed of himself for sabotaging her career. Where is the pride in that? He had to face the fact, he couldn’t always protect her and he must stand aside and let her grow up.

However, if he had his way, he would send her to anyone but Yoruichi but he was forced to admit, she was the best mentor for her to learn from.

Suddenly, Byakuya briefly frowned. “One thing I must warn you about Yoruichi. She will invite you to play the game of tag.”

“Tag?” Rukia questioned.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A little later at the Seireitei cafeteria, seated at a far off table by themselves, two people were having a private and slightly confusing conversation over breakfast.

“What is this thing called again?” Sui Feng asked as she lifted another piece of fish to her mouth.

“An airplane or as more simply put, a flying machine.” Yoruichi explained over her plate of noodles.

The Chinese woman chewed and swallowed her food. “And they have this thing called a helie-chopper?”

“Helicopter,” Yoruichi helped. “It can fly straight up.”

Sui Feng looked baffled. “Why do they have two different flying machines?”

“Well, each one can handle different functions but the airplane needs a big area to land and take off while the helicopter requires just a small clearing.”

“Sounds like the helicopter is the superior, why not just use that?”

“Because the airplane can carry more weight.”

“Then build a bigger helicopter.”

Yoruichi laughed. “It doesn’t work that way.”

“Why not?”

The golden eyed woman threw her hands up. “Got me there. Kiuske can probably answer that better than I can.”

The two went back to eating for a minute when Sui Feng looked up again. “Yoruichi-sama, why are you telling me so much about the World of the Living lately?”

The woman across from her answered with a sincere smile. “I would like to show it to you someday, properly.”

The Chinese woman looked excited. “Just me and you?”

“Like Thelma and Louise, except the part of running from the authorities and driving off the cliff together.”

“Yoruichi-sama?”

“Yes?”

“What are you talking about again?”

The older woman giggled. “Sorry, it’s a movie. I’ll show it to you sometime.”

Sui Feng grinned as she stirred the pile of rice next to her pieces of fish with her chopsticks. “I would like that.”

“Then it’s a date.”

The two women exchanged smiles as they resumed eating again. A few moments went by when a smirking Yoruichi started eyeing the food on the Chinese woman’s plate.

Why not?

In flash, with her chopsticks, the golden eyed woman snatched a piece of fish from Sui Feng’s plate. Yoruichi used to steal food off her plate when she was younger over a century ago causing the Chinese woman looked up with a confused expression.

However, the woman across from Sui Feng looked completely innocent like not happened, even as she chewed and swallowed the evidence in her mouth.

Sui Feng glanced at Yoruichi plate and with her chopsticks, she seized several noodles and popped them in her mouth. When Yoruichi looked at her surprised, she merely shrugged as she chewed.

“What?” A smug Sui Feng said.

Before they knew it, they each started retaliating, eating from each other’s plate, laughing and giggling quietly.

“Actually, the fish tastes pretty good today.” Yoruichi commented happily.

Sui Feng nodded. “The noodles aren’t half bad either. What are these dark things sticking to them?”

“Tiny bits of beef.”

As Sui Feng turned pale, Yoruichi chuckled. “Relax, it’s chopped up pieces of mushrooms. I know you hate meat and are a true lover of fish.” She finished with a wink and the Chinese woman soon started to blush.

It was then they spotted Rukia approaching their table. “Sui Feng-taicho,” The petite woman said and politely bowed to them. “Yoruichi-san.”

The Captain of the 2nd Division nodded back in acknowledgment and Yoruichi smiled warmly. “Hello, Rukia. What can we do for you?”

The small woman smiled hesitantly to Yoruichi. “You probably heard by now that they’re forming a list of candidates for vice captain positions in the 3rd and 5th Divisions. I wish to add my name to it and I would be grateful if you could help me to prepare.”

“You are competing for a vice captain’s position?” Sui Feng commented. “You are very bold and smart enough to know who to approach for help. I wish you well.”

“Uh, thank you, taicho.” Rukia was surprised by the encouragement considering the last time they exchanged words was when Sui Feng put her through a wall when she tried to protect Ichigo from her.

“Is your brother okay with me training you?” Yoruichi asked.

“He actually told me to seek you out.”

Yoruichi and Sui Feng looked at each other in surprise. Byakuya told his sister to seek Yoruichi out? The former captain was surprised beyond words. She could count dozens of instructors capable of training Rukia but her brother suggested her. She felt… well very confused and touched.

“Then I would be honoured to be your teacher. As I understand, these tryouts start in a month, we should start immediately. I say tomorrow morning at a place of your choosing

“Can we meet at our family estate?” When Yoruichi agreed, Rukia was all smiles. “I will be waiting for you in the morning. Thank you.”

With a slight bow to the two women, Rukia left them to finish their breakfast.

“What are her chances?” Sui Feng quietly asked Yoruichi. The Captain knew Rukia but they were far from friends.

“I can’t say but she has talent. I’ll know more tomorrow when I get to see her up close.” Yoruichi shrugged and it was the truth. She never had a chance to witness Rukia’s full potential and she was looking forward to it. She loved teaching.

“Does this mean you are planning to spend a lot of time with her?” The Chinese woman asked.

“Why Sui Feng, is that a hint of jealously I’m detecting?” The goddess teased.

The Captain blushed. “No, it’s just… It’s hard enough to see each other as it is.”

“Its okay, Sui Feng and it’ll be only for a month,” Yoruichi assured her. “Besides, it’s not like I have a thing for petite women with dark hair who wield swords.”

If Yoruichi meant that as a joke, Sui Feng did not laugh.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Early the next morning at the Kuchiki estate, Byakuya greeted Yoruichi at the front entrance.

“Shihoin,” Byakuya said. “Rukia is waiting for you out back at the training yard.”

The gold eyed woman flashed that cocky grin of hers at him. “Nice to see you too Byakuya. Your sister is aiming high for a vice captain’s position.”

“You would be correct,” Byakuya replied. “She will be pleased to see you.”

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rukia was out in the spacious training area of their estate performing a series of complex manoeuvres with her katana to help pass the time while she waited for Yoruichi. The sword blade sliced delicate arches through the air as the long white ribbon attached to the end of the hilt followed Rukia’s every move in beautiful twirling and coiling patterns.

She was not wearing her Soul Reapers uniform, instead dressed in a white, sleeveless practice outfit. Rukia continued as she leapt high in the air, slashing her weapon as imagery targets before landing. She slowly stood up, giving her weapon one last twirl before sheathing it.

It was then she heard someone clapping their hands in applause.

“That was beautiful, Rukia,” Yoruichi said as she and Byakuya stepped into the training area. “It was like watching a dancer at work.”

“Yoruichi-san,” Rukia blushed slightly. “Thank you for coming.”

“Of course,” The golden eye woman smiled. “You asked after all. Are you ready?”

Rukia nodded.

“If you need nothing further I’ll leave you two alone,” Byakuya spoke in a reserved tone as he turned to go. “I’ll see to it that one of the servants bring you some refreshments.”

When her brother left, Yoruichi slowly approached Rukia and walked in a full circle around her. She didn’t move but the young woman felt like a little canary being eyed by a cat. Now facing her, Yoruichi stared at the petite woman before her.

“In order to train you properly, I must know what I have to work with,” Yoruichi said. “I want to see the extent of your skills in Zanjitsu, Hakuda, Hoho, Kido and Shikai. Are you ready?”

Rukia just nodded.

The golden eyed woman smiled. “Then let’s begin.”

It went on for almost an hour. Rukia exhausted every spell and form of attack she had and all the while Yoruichi just watched, gauging her. When she unleashed another attack from her sword firing off a column of ice, Yoruichi shouted.

“Enough!”

Rukia sheathed her sword as her teacher approached. “Is something wrong?”

“Yes there is,” Yoruichi said a little irate. “From what I have seen, why the hell are you not at least a seated officer by now? Alone, you have the raw talent to be a vice captain with little difficultly.”

“I…” Rukia hesitated before shaking her head. “I don’t know.”

She’s lying, Yoruichi thought. Can’t be anymore obvious than that but I won’t push it.

“Okay,” Yoruichi said. “Your skills with a sword are strong, so I won’t worry about that. Your kido is impressive but I have a few things I can teach to give you a leg up but more importantly I would like to sharpen your hand to hand technique and work on your flash step.”

Rukia nodded in agreement. “Where should we start, Yoruichi-san?”

“Well,” The goddess considered their location for a moment. “I do think your brother will appreciate us destroying his backyard with kido. I’ve got a better location for that, so let’s start with some hand to hand sparring. Prepare!”

Rukia nodded and assumed a defensive stance.

“We will take turns attacking and defending,” Yoruichi instructed, readying her own defensive stance. “You will attack me first and don’t stop until I say so. Ready? Begin!”

Knowing who she was facing, Rukia attacked and didn’t hold back. She threw everything she had at Yoruichi but none of her punches or kicks could reach her. The Goddess of Flash either blocked them or dodged with such speed that it made her feel like she was standing still. After five minutes of nonstop attacking, Rukia was nearly exhausted after giving it her all.

“Enough!” Yoruichi held up her hand, signalling for Rukia to stop. “Now it is my turn.”

Catching her breath, Rukia took a defensive stance and readied herself for the eventual onslaught.

“Are you ready?” Her teacher asked, readying herself to go on the attack.

With eyes focused on her opponent, the smaller woman merely nodded.

“We begin now.”

One moment she was looking at Yoruichi then in the next she was knocked down flat on her back. She didn’t even see her move! Immediately, Rukia jumped back up to face her teacher again before having her legs swept out from under her. Again, Rukia hopped to her feet only to be knocked down once more. No matter what she did, Rukia was outclassed by Yoruichi. Frustration and anger was building as she was knocked down again and again but Rukia remained calm and in control. She refused to give up.

After being knocked down for the eleventh time, Yoruichi stopped. “Good.”

“Good about what?” Rukia breathed hard as she stood up once more, refusing to lower her defences, for all it did to help her.

“You didn’t give up or lose your temper.” Yoruichi said with a warm smile.

“You were testing me?”

The taller woman nodded, pleased with her new student. “Now with that question answered, I can begin properly teaching you.”

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Several hours later…

“This was a very productive day.” Yoruichi declared as they start walking away from the training yard. “You are a quick learner. Just remember in a fight, it’s better to act than react.”

“I will remember and thank you Yoruichi-san,” Rukia said politely to her teacher.

“There is one last thing I would like to do,” Yoruichi said thoughtfully. “But only if you are up to it?”

“What is it?”

Slowly, Yoruichi sauntered up to the petite woman, grinning devilishly before the golden eyed woman playfully slapped her on the right shoulder shouting. “Tag, you are it!” Before flash stepping away.

Rukia suddenly looked around confused. “What? I don’t understand?”

She waited for a response before calling out again. “Yoruichi, where are you?”

After a few more moments, she shouted out once more. “Please Yoruichi, what are you doing?!!”

Suddenly, Rukia heard Yoruichi’s voice behind her. “You are kidding, right? Is this a trick? You don’t know the game tag!”

The young woman turned to face her. Yoruichi was just ten feet away.

“In case you haven’t heard, before I was adopted by Byakuya, I was poor. I didn’t have time for children’s games while trying to survive. Just finding clean drinking water was a luxury.”

“I’m sorry but still…” Yoruichi looked dumbfounded. “No children games? I find that hard to believe…”

“You’re calling me a liar,” Rukia shouted, looking hurt. “What do you know about being poor? You were a noble, and when you were in exile, you were at least an adult able to look after yourself. Me, it was just my sister and the other kids who were in the same boat.”

Yoruichi held up a hand to her. “I didn’t mean to call you a liar. It’s just...”

Rukia looked away, hugging herself with her arms. Her voice filled with anguish. “I never had a chance to have a childhood, Yoruichi-san. Being young and poor, you tend to be invisible. No one cares and you are treated less than dirt.”

Yoruichi took a step closer, listening.

“I don’t like talking about it. It was a hard and unforgiving life.” Rukia said sadly before she looked back at her teacher. Yoruichi could she her face was stained with tears. The older woman was almost heartbroken by the sight and her story. On impulse she went up and bent down to hug the other woman and Rukia returned the embrace.

“I’m so sorry Rukia.” The taller woman said.

“Thank you,” the younger woman whispered, pulling back a little to face her, patting the older woman on the shoulders lightly. “And Yoruichi-san…”

“Yes?”

“Tag, you’re it!” A grinning and triumphant Rukia flash stepped away, leaving a wide-eyed and bewildered Yoruichi standing there, realizing she’d just been had.

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I tagged her! I actually tagged the Goddess of Flash! Rukia thought as she darted through the forest flying at full speed. Okay, it may not be legal on how I did it but I did it anyway!!!

Besides knowing how to fight, Rukia was a natural actor who could put on a performance that could fool almost anyone. Plus being able to shed tears at the drop of a hat is also an added bonus in selling that performance. She hoped that Yoruichi isn’t too upset over this.

Suddenly, Rukia felt an eruption reiatsu behind her and it was quickly closing faster than she could…

The young woman felt a body colliding against her back and two strong arms wrapping around her, pinning her own arms against her sides. Then they were both falling, through branches and leaves and the last thing she saw was the lake they were about to land in.

The two tumbling figures hit the surface hard, kicking water high in a large column. Rukia was the first to break the surface, as the water started to settle around her. She looked left and right until she saw Yourichi’s head breaking the surface close to her.

The two equally drenched women stared at each other for a tense moment when Yoruichi started to laugh gleefully.

Rukia was surprised and quite relieved. “You’re not mad?”

“Mad?” Yoruichi crowed. “I’ve never had this much fun playing tag in years. You tricked me hook, line and sinker!”

“But I want I did was so underhanded…”

“Who cares! That was fun!”

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Byakuya was seated comfortably in his back patio chair, reading a book when he heard approaching laughter. Looking up, he saw Yoruichi and Rukia coming up the path towards the mansion. Both of them were dripping wet from head to toe, walking with an arm around each other, like they were the best of friends.

“Brother,” Rukia waved as the two of them walked by into the mansion. “We had a wonderful day of training! Can Yoruichi stay for dinner? We’re going upstairs to bathe and get cleaned up, thanks!”

His face was passive as he nodded but internally, Byakuya was cringing as his greatest fear was being realized.

They-are-actually-bonding!
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PostSubject: Re: The Good Life   Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:18 pm

You have a knack for making me focus on one particular thing about your fics, and in this case it was the fact that the title reminded me of this:


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PostSubject: Re: The Good Life   Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:36 pm

It reminds me more of the song of the same name by One Republic.

I think it's a great start! I really like the idea of Yoruichi being a mentor since it does seem like she enjoys it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Good Life   Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:39 pm

I liked it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Good Life   Mon Sep 05, 2011 3:20 pm

The Good Life

Part 2: Secrets


This chapter contains some sexual content between consenting adults.

Special thanks to my Beta Reader, Sapphire.

The story is also posted over at Fanfiction.net - The Good Life. Please leave a comment there if you can. Thank you. Happy
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Sui-Feng walked down the main causeway to the Second Division main building to return to her quarters. It was getting late in the evening and she just finished handing out the final duty assignments to her men. Now all she wished to do is complete the last few pieces of paperwork waiting for her on her desk so she could have the remainder of the day to herself.

“Sui-Feng!”

A thin smile formed on the 2nd Captain’s lips as she turned and looked up to see Yoruichi flying towards her. Just the person she wanted to spend that free time with.

“Yoruichi-sama,” Sui-Feng replied in greeting as the goddess landed before her, who flashed a devilish smirk back at the Chinese women. To Sui-Feng, Yoruichi looked to be in a good mood and probably feeling frisky. She tried to keep her voice nonchalant. “What brings you here?”

“Do I have to give a reason to see an old friend?” Yoruichi was feeling frisky as she stepped towards the Captain of the 2nd Division but kept her hands to herself. Sui-Feng was still warily of public signs of affection in order to keep their relationship from the public eye. At the same time she had little trouble performing innocent playful acts with Yoruichi, like eating off each other’s plates.

“I was going to my quarters. You can come with me if you wish.” Sui-Feng started walking towards the main building again.

Yoruichi followed. “Let me guess, you have paperwork to finish?”

The Chinese woman chuckled. “When don’t I have paperwork to do, Yoruichi-sama?”

The two women continued on walking until they reached Sui-Feng’s quarters in the Second Division main building. The Chinese woman opened the door for Yoruichi, letting her in first. Once inside, Sui-Feng slide the door shut behind her, locking it. As soon she turned to face Yoruichi, the goddess pounced on her, passionately kissing her and Sui-Feng returned it hungrily. She slowly led Yoruichi to her bedroom as they kissed and groped, pulling at each other’s clothing.

Suddenly Sui-Feng was pushed backward onto the bed as Yoruichi climb on top of her, nuzzling her neck. It was then the captain smelled the goddess’s hair, taking in a new sweet smell. She inhaled it deeply. “What is this new scent in your hair? I like it.”

“I don’t know,” The brown-skinned woman replied as she worked to undo Sui-Feng’s uniform. “Rukia gave me something to wash my hair with.”

The Chinese woman almost had Yorichi’s orange jacket open when she stopped. “Rukia gave you shampoo, why?”

In her hurry to undress Sui-Feng, Yoruichi said without thinking. “Because she was using it when we were bathing together,”

The look that Sui-Feng shot her gave her chills. “You were bathing with her?!”

“Uh… Their tub was the size of a small pond and nothing happened,” Yoruichi tried to explain. “I was training her for most of the day and we both fell into the lake and got wet and dirty.”

“What the hell were you two doing in a lake?” Sui-Feng pushed Yoruichi off her, while glaring at her.

“Nothing happened, how many times do I have to say it?” The goddess said again, sitting on the edge of the bed next to her. “We were playing tag and Rukia got me...”

“Stop!” The Chinese woman stood and stared at her in disbelief. “I am calling bullshit on this. She-tagged-YOU!” Sui-Feng played tag with Yoruichi for decades and never came close to catching her. What did Rukia do that was so different compared to her?

Yoruichi shrugged. “She told me some sad story of not knowing any games and got me feeling sorry enough to hug her.”

“You hugged her?!!”

The goddess sighed, placing a hand to the side of her head as thought she was suffering from a severe headache. “This is not looking very good, is it?”

“I would say not!”

“You have to trust me when I say nothing happened.” Yoruichi said calmly and gently.

“Why should I?” Sui-Feng was still very doubtful, knowing what an awful flirt Yoruichi can be.

“Because I’m telling the truth, can’t you trust me?” The taller woman said sincerely.

The shorter woman folded her arms across her chest, looking at the floor. Her anger wavering. “I want to…”

Seeing a crack in Sui-Feng’s defences, Yoruichi stood up and approached her. “Then please trust me now,” The goddess placed a hand under her chin, lifting her head so she could look into her eyes. “I never want to hurt you again and see those pretty eyes fill with tears…” She leaned in closer. “…Or risk feeling the sting of Suzemebachi again.”

That finally got a smile from Sui-Feng. “I… The more I think…” Slowly the Chinese women stopped as she began to go over everything in her head. “I’m sorry Yoruichi-sama, I have been unfair.”

Yoruichi breathed a tiny sigh of relief. “There is no reason to apologize, Sui-Feng. I’m just glad we could sort this out and maybe I should have used some more common sense around Rukia.”

One thing about Sui-Feng which Yoruichi considered both a blessing and a curse was that even though the young Chinese woman could get angry with her, she was very quick to forgive. For the most part, Yoruichi was glad for that but occasionally, she wished that Sui-Feng would stand her ground more often and not give in so easily.

Slowly, Sui-Feng snaked her arms around the taller woman, pulling her in closer. “Still,” Sui-Feng whispered. “I feel I should give you something for losing my temper.”

Even though the argument they had put a slight damper on Yoruichi’s mood, she couldn’t refuse. “I think I can arrange a compromise that’ll make both of us happy.”

“I would like that,” Sui-Feng whispered before their lips met in a gentle kiss and the captain led Yoruichi back to her bed, discarding their clothing as they went.

Much later, in Sui-Feng’s darkened quarters an exhausted Yoruichi was resting motionless in bed still coming down from her peak. Her beautiful body was glistening with sweat, when a shadowy form moved up from between her legs.

Yoruichi’s golden eyes watched as the lithe form crawled over her before a gentle hand touched and start moving across her bare stomach. Slowly, the exploring hand glided upward up until it captured her left breast in a lingering caress. Sighing out loud, Yoruichi immediately felt Sui-Feng’s lips closing over hers in a gentle kiss and all she could taste on Chinese woman’s lips was herself. After they broke the kiss, Sui-Feng laid down next her, cuddling up close, with her head resting on Yoruichi’s shoulder.

“Good,” the goddess whispered tiredly, wrapping her arms around the smaller woman, holding her. “I thought you were going to be at it all night. Some of us do need some sleep.”

In the dark, Sui-Feng blushed and laughed. “Don’t tell me that I wore out the mighty Yoruichi?”

“Well, you were bound to out last me in something but I’m not complaining.” Yoruichi’s comment got both of them laughing.

After a bit, they grew silent and Yoruichi found herself going to sleep only to be disturbed by Sui-Feng giggling.

“What is it?” A curious and sleepy Yoruichi asked.

“It’s nothing.” Sui-Feng replied, still giggling into Yoruichi’s shoulder.

“Sure sounds like something, what is it?” The goddess insisted.

“I mean the thought of you and Rukia,” Sui-Feng suddenly begins to laugh. “That’s almost robbing the cradle.”

Yoruichi was not laughing. “Are you calling me old?”

“No, no, Yoruichi-sama,” Sui-Feng apologized quickly. “It has nothing to do with your age but please make sure you have Rukia home before her bedtime.” Then Sui-Feng exploded into laughter.

Slowly, Yoruichi’s lips curl into a smile as she starts to laugh too. “Just imagine how Ichigo and Renji would react to that bit of news.”

“They’d be bleeding out of both nostrils from the shock.” Sui-Feng giggled.

Both women continued on until the laughter slowly died down and Yoruichi finally collected herself. “If you like, you can come with me tomorrow when I train Rukia.”

“No, Yoruichi-sama, it won’t be necessary,” Sui-Feng declined looking up at her. “I said I trust you.”

“Maybe but you can help with Rukia’s training. She’s good with a sword but you can teach her to be even better because I haven’t handled one in a century.”

The idea of taking a day off and leaving Omaeda in charge made her queasy but maybe going would put her suspicious mind at ease. What was the worst that could happen?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Next morning, Rukia was up bright and early, eager for her next training session with Yoruichi. She was surprised to see that not only the former captain could be so serious but also incredibly good-natured and even playful to engage in a game like tag. What was most surprising is that Yoruichi wasn’t mad for what she did during the game. She seemed to appreciate people who could think outside the box.

Rukia bathed and dressed but she was sitting before her dresser mirror staring at her reflection now. Slowly she ran a hand through her shoulder length hair, the same style she’d had for years.

Her eyes came to settle to the pair of scissors on the dresser before she picked them up. Looking at her imagine in the mirror, she smiled, feeling daring this morning.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------


In the training area of the Kuchiki estate, Yoruichi and Sui-Feng arrived early and both decided to do their own little sparring to kill time. Actually, it looked more like playing. Both women warriors were barely moving at half of their normal combat speed, and their punches and kicks could barely register little more than love taps.

After a few minutes of playful sparring, Sui-Feng jumped back and decided to step things up. With a little concentration, the Chinese woman spawned a dozen reiatsu copies to the left and right of herself. Yoruichi eyes widened before smiling at the small army of Sui-Feng’s. She knew only one of them was real and the trick was to find the right one

“I think I had a dream about this once.” The golden eyed woman purred aloud.

All the Sui-Feng images smiled back before charging at her all at once.

Yoruichi used a kido spell firing off a wide blast of chain lightning at a weak enough level to dispel the fragile Sui-Feng copies while not harming the real one. In one impressive stroke, Yoruichi wiped out all of the copies, however the real Sui-Feng was nowhere to be found. At the last second, the former captain sensed movement behind her but didn’t bother to try and move out of the way. An instant later she was tackled from behind and both she and Sui-Feng rolled on the ground together before Yoruichi found herself under her former student.

Straddling her waist and pinning Yoruichi’s arms above her head, Sui-Feng looked down at her, and asked, “Do you give?”

The brown-skinned woman thought it over. “Let’s see, you have me at your mercy with you on top, I don’t know, I feel very content.”

With a frustrated sigh, Sui-Feng released Yoruichi’s hands but remained seated, straddling her lap. “There was a time fighting you was always an impossible challenge but lately it has been a big game to you.”

“What do you mean,” Yoruichi asked. “Are you not having fun?”

“You could have dodged to keep me from hitting you from behind but instead you allowed me to jump you.”

The goddess threw a mischievous grin. “I thought you would like jumping me.”

Sui-Feng shook her head. “Don’t hand me a win, Yoruichi-sama. Respect me.”

Surprised, Yoruichi sat up to face her. “I do respect you. Do you have to be so serious all the time?”

“I just don’t want hand outs. Let me earn my wins.”

The golden eyed woman slowly nodded. “Alright,” Then she wrapped her arms around her. “From now on I will be your evasive cat.”

Sui-Feng lifted her hands and rested them on the other woman’s shoulders. “I’m serious.”

“So am I.”

Sui-Feng lowered her head until her forehead was touching Yoruichi. “This is hard…”

“What is?”

“Relationships,” Sui-Feng whispered. “You are too laidback unless the Soul Society is about to be consumed by the next great peril and I’m… I’m too serious to know when it’s safe to relax.”

“I think we’re doing just fine,” Yoruichi assured her. “Just because not everyday is flowers and sunshine doesn’t mean we’re going to end in disaster.”

Sui-Feng nodded and was about say something when they both sensed the reiatsu of an approaching person. Quickly the Chinese woman stood and had just helped Yoruichi to her feet when Rukia entered the clearing to the training yard.

“Sui-Feng-taicho,” Rukia said in surprise seeing the 2nd Captain here. “What honour do we have for you…” Then she noticed the two women were standing before her like a couple of kids almost caught red handed by their parents. “Did I interrupt something?”

The two women paused for a moment before both spoke in unison, saying. “I fell”

The two women then winced at there mirror statements causing Rukia to grin, wondering what they were doing before she showed up.

“We were sparring,” Sui-Feng quickly added. “And…”

“And we both fell,” Yoruichi finished before trying to change the subject and thankfully found it standing right in front of them. “Look, Sui-Feng. Rukia has a new hair cut!”

“Yes,” The Chinese woman said in near relief for the distraction as she walked towards Rukia. Her normally long raven hair stretching just past her shoulders was now cropped shorter, above her shoulders now. “Yes, it’s very practical.”

“It looks good on you.” Yoruichi commented and it did look good on her. It made her look much more mature. Of course, Rukia kept her signature few strands of hair dropping down between her eyes.

“It was a last minute thing,” Rukia smiled at her teacher’s kind words. “But after a few decades I felt it was time for a change.”

“I really like it.” Yoruichi said approvingly.

Standing off to one side, Sui-Feng felt a flash of jealousy at the way Rukia and Yoruichi were looking at each other. In her mind, she wondered if the new hair cut was to attract the former captain but Yoruichi gave her word that nothing was going on and that should be good enough for her... but it wasn’t.

Sui-Feng hated this feeling of jealousy, which was triggered whenever someone appeared too affectionate towards Yoruichi. Deep down it all stemmed from her fear of losing her again. Being abandoned by the one she willingly gave her heart and soul to again after a century of being left behind. She couldn’t bear going through that all again and nothing that Yoruichi said or did could help relieve those worries. She was abandoned once, what was there to stop it from happening again?

“Sui-Feng?”

The Chinese woman snapped out of her thoughts and looked to see Yoruichi and Rukia looking at her. She shook her head. “I’m sorry, Yoruichi-sama I didn’t hear you. What did you wish of me?”

“Are you okay?” Yoruichi approached Sui-Feng, looking concerned.

“I am fine,” The Chinese woman replied flatly. “What do you need of me?”

“Are you ready to train Rukia?” Yoruichi then leaned in whispering because the young woman in question was just a few feet behind her. “If this is going to be a problem…”

Sui-Feng shook her head, she suffered daily by putting up with her near useless lieutenant so she was sure she could survive this. “I agreed to help you Yoruichi-sama and I will honour it.”

She approached Rukia, trying to keep her voice level and professional but it sounded icy cold. “We will spar so I can gauge your skills. Don’t hold back.”

Rukia hesitated noticing the frosty tone directed at her before nodding and the two women moved into the center of the training yard with an uneasy Yoruichi looking on, wondering if this was a mistake. Sui-Feng had always had a jealous streak but ever since they took their relationship to the next level, it hadn’t been getting any better. She hoped that by bringing Sui-Feng here, it would put her at ease but the opposite seemed to be happening. For now, she decided to watch but was prepared to step in if things got out of hand.

Sui-Feng and Rukia were standing in the centre of the training yard with only a few feet separating them with their zanpakutos drawn. They stared at each other until Sui-Feng commented rather flatly, pointing at Rukia’s glittering white sword.

“Are you going to attack me with that or is it merely a piece of jewellery?”

Rukia’s eyes darkened slightly at the challenge and in an instant she flash stepped over the distance separating them and attacked in a blazing clash of sword blades. Yoruichi kept her distance and observed. She was relieved that Sui-Feng was fighting mainly defensively, holding back seeing what Rukia could do.

After a few minutes, Sui-Feng lifted her sword and blocked Rukia’s overhead strike firmly. The smaller Soul Reaper was fighting with two hands on her weapon while the Captain was using only one with no difficultly.

“You have no real power behind your sword strikes and your sword skills are mediocre at best,” Sui-Feng said in a bored tone. “Is that all you have?”

When Rukia tried pushing against her, Sui-Feng exerted her superior strength, shoved the smaller woman away so hard, that her feet skidded across the ground for a couple of yards before stopping. Somehow, Rukia kept her balance as Sui-Feng looked on uninterested.

“I said, is that all you have?”

“No,” Rukia replied grimly before jumping up and spinning in the air with her arms and sword tucked in tight with her body. Then before Sui-Feng very eyes, she flash stepped out of sight and appeared right in front of her and realizing what was about to come, the Captain raised her sword.

Still spinning like a top, Rukia extended her arms that were holding her sword and the weapon came around and struck with such force that when Sui-Feng blocked it, she staggered backwards several steps.

“I’m just getting warmed up.” Rukia cried as she landed.

Not far away, Yoruichi took an uneasy step towards them. This sparring match was slowly escalating.

Sui-Feng was now furious as she gripped her weapon tightly but Rukia held her ground unafraid like the day she tried to protect Ichigo from her. It was taking all her self control to resist from attacking the smaller woman and slamming her into a tree.

“Seriously, have I done something to offend you?” Rukia suddenly demanded.

“Why do you ask?” Sui-Feng replied coldly.

They were too far away and speaking too low for Yoruichi to hear their exchange.

“You act like I’m a threat.”

“I don’t know what you mean.” The Chinese woman said dismissively.

“But I know about you and Yoruichi-san.” The young Soul Reaper announced.

The color nearly drained from Sui-Feng’s face. “Wh-What?”

“Yes, I know. You are her favourite and some say you two are like sisters,” The smaller women gestured to Yoruichi. “Are you actually afraid that I might replace you as her favourite new pupil? That’s not my intention.”

At first, Sui-Feng was relieved that Rukia was completely wrong about them. A century ago, she was Yoruichi’s favourite and they did have a sisterly bond but that changed over time to something more. Then the stubborn and overly jealous Captain began to realize that perhaps Rukia had no romantic interest towards Yoruichi. Maybe the haircut was just that, a haircut.

For acting so stupidly for seeing things that weren’t there, Sui-Feng could do only one thing, laugh, almost cackling loudly.

“Did I say something funny?” An alarmed Rukia asked. She never heard Sui-Feng laugh before and frankly she never wanted to again. She looked to Yoruichi who was watching from a discreet distance and the brown-skinned woman could only shrug her shoulders.

“If only you knew,” Sui-Feng said after she finally stopped laughing. “Now, let’s get serious. Just to show you that Yoruichi-sama isn’t the only one you can learn something new from, I can teach you a kido spell I have been working on that focuses an energy field onto the blade of your zanpakuto.”

That quickly got Rukia’s interest. “What does it do exactly?”

“To let you cut through almost anything,” Sui-Feng told her. “Because I’m still perfecting it is somewhat limited. It lasts only a few seconds but it’s quite lethal if you can hit your target within that time. Want to learn it?”

The excited look on Rukia’s face gave Sui-Feng her answer.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Towards the end of the day with the training session behind them, Yoruichi and Sui-Feng were taking a relaxing bath at the Kuchiki estate. After this they were invited for dinner upon Rukia’s insistence to show her gratitude. Sui-Feng was planning to refuse but a little persuasion from Yoruichi changed the young captain’s mind.

“There’s nothing like a nice warm bath,” Yoruichi purred as she sank up to her shoulders in the warm water. She then leaned back comfortably against the side of the tub, closing her eyes. “Would you agree Sui-Feng?”

“Yes Yoruichi-sama.” The Chinese woman was in the middle of the bath and was amazed at the size of it. It was the size of a pond. She could almost easily swim short laps in it and the warm water was supplied by a hot spring.

After a moment, Sui-Feng moved closer to her former mentor. “Yoruichi-sama, I have a question”

The brown-skinned woman barely responded as she tried to relax. “Hmmm?”

“I only spent one day training with Rukia but in that time, I can easily tell her abilities far exceed the lowly rank she now holds.”

Slowly, Yoruichi opened up her golden eyes to stare at the 2nd Captain. “You noticed it too, eh?”

“Rukia is officer material,” Sui-Feng said, remembering how easily Rukia learnt her new kido spell. “She has power, skill and most importantly growing confidence in herself.”

“You forgot crafty,” Yoruichi laughed, remembering how Rukia tricked her in tag. “Oh, she is very crafty.”

“So why is she not even a seated officer within the 13 Division?” Sui-Feng demanded.

“I asked her that question and I think Rukia knows why but doesn’t want to say.”

“What do you think, Yoruichi-sama?”

The older woman considered it for a moment but shook her head. “Perhaps we should respect her privacy and not speculate any further. If she wishes, she will tell us.”

Sui-Feng was about to respond when they both heard the door opening and Rukia entered, shutting the door behind herself. She was dressed in a white robe and slippers. She took them off by the door and approached the bath.

“I apologize for being late,” Rukia said. “Dinner will be ready within the hour.”

“I hope you are not going through too much trouble for us.” Sui-Feng commented and Yoruichi nodded in agreement.

“We just had a little problem in the kitchen which had nothing to do with you.” Rukia insisted but knowingly lied. As well supplied their estate kitchen was; they had no fish on hand for Sui-Feng, who doesn’t eat meat. So she had to get one of their servants to run quickly down to the market to get some.

Walking over to a nearby wall rack, Rukia slipped off her robe and hung it up before turning towards the bath. Politely, Yoruichi and Sui-Feng averted their gaze anywhere but on Rukia as she stepped into the bath with them lowering herself into the welcoming warm water.

“So,” Rukia asked nonchalantly. “Talking about anything interesting?”

There was a long pause as both Yoruichi and Sui-Feng thought about a possible reply to that question since they were gossiping about Rukia before she came in. The awkward silence made the young Soul Reaper wonder silently.

Okay, what are they doing when I’m not around?

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PostSubject: Re: The Good Life   Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:11 pm

So that's why her hair looks so bad now! Rukia cut it herself. It all makes sense.

You brought up something in this fic that I've had an issue with for a while now:

"One thing about Sui-Feng which Yoruichi considered both a blessing and a curse was that even though the young Chinese woman could get angry with her, she was very quick to forgive. For the most part, Yoruichi was glad for that but occasionally, she wished that Sui-Feng would stand her ground more often and not give in so easily."

This is a common theme in YoruSoi fics and is supposed to be a commentary on Sui-Feng, but in reality it raises several issues with Yoruichi that I have yet to see get addressed. Namely, if Yoruichi is aware of these things but says nothing about them, she is either taking advantage of Sui-Feng or she is just being passive-aggressive about it. Both options raise many questions about other areas of their relationship that never get explored because everyone put's the onus of change on Sui-Feng rather than Yoruichi.

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The Good Life
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