Slightly twisted ficlet about the aftermath of the Soul Society arc. Spoilers through manga 181. Totally Cracked, I-1

If Rukia had made a list of the many sights she never expected to see, her brother kneeling over a washtub full of suds with his sleeves tied back would not have been on it anywhere. It would never have occurred to her to imagine her cool, sleek, elegant brother with his hair mussed from rising steam, even for the sake of thinking it impossible.

“Nii-sama?” she asked, a bit cautiously just in case this was a symptom of madness, or some strange family ritual she’d never heard of. “What are you doing?”

“Everything has a price, Rukia,” he told her, evenly, without turning. He lifted his white scarf out of the water and held it up to the light. Rukia could see faint red-brown marks here and there. “Everything.

“Including dramatic gestures.”

He dropped it back in and leaned down to keep scrubbing.