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20 July 2009 @ 05:46 pm
Day 6 - Those Faraway Stars  
Day 6 in my series, I'm actually managing to write them somewhat more in order now, which is a good thing. This one, like the last one, is a bit sad but unfortunately Ichi and Ru can't really get together and it NOT affect those two people who unrequietedly love them and rather coincidentally there are 2 themes for the comm that just perfectly fit them dealing with such things. Either way, enjoy.

Title: Day 6 - Those Faraway Stars
Series: Bleach
Pairing: IchigoxRukia
Theme: #26 - If only I could make you mine
Disclaimer: Bleach =/= Mine

"No, you idiot I didn't say I was coming back tonight, I said I would come back when I got finished here. NO, I'm not finished yet, that's why I'm still here. Oh for the- You are acting like such a baby! What?! Don't you call me that, you moron! I am NOT, and if you say it again I'll kick your ass when I get back. Tomorrow, as long as Ukitake-taichou doesn't need me for anything else. Now shut up, I have to go."

Renji winced slightly as the small silver phone snapped shut with a violent click, it's pendant Chappy charm jingling as Rukia's fist clenched around it. If she squeezed that phone much harder, she'd break the damned thing and then he'd have to listen to her complain about that. Watching as she gave the device a dirty look -- doubtless the look was intended more for the person on the other end of the line than for the phone itself -- before shoving it into the inner pocket of her hakama with a huffy sigh, he allowed himself a scowl of his own.

Damn Ichigo. It was his fault, anyway. Renji didn't know what it would take to get the message through -- likely a few good blows to the head, which he was more than willing to administer himself -- to the orange-haired substitute that Rukia didn't belong in the human world, and that because of that simple fact, he couldn't keep expecting her to stay there and not come back here. To Soul Society. To where she did belong. The kid was stubborn, Renji had to give him that, but he had to come to grips with reality at some point. The arguement he'd had with Rukia over the phone a moment ago had been proof enough of the fact that Ichigo just didn't get it.

He sobered up as Rukia walked back over to him, pulling his face into a neutral expression and shoving hands into the pockets of his hakama. Raising an eyebrow slightly, he simply listened to her complaints in his typical fashion of seeming indifference. Watching the emotions play across her face, he couldn't help the rising sense of concern. Something was different since the last time he'd seen her, something had changed and not between them. Something.... between her and Ichigo. It was written on her face, in the subtle variances of her expressions as she'd shouted at him through the phone, in the way she rolled her eyes as she complained, in... in everything. And for some reason, it only served to heighten the sudden sense of sinking doom he felt.

"Of all the idiotic, half-whitted, pea-brained.... I can't believe he had the nerve to- And then, he still-"

Breaking off with a martyred sigh of frustration, Rukia gritted her teeth in an attempt to push her aggravation from her mind and focus on more pleasent things. It was bad enough that that collossal idiot had made such a fuss when all she'd been trying to do was be courteous and let him know when she'd be back. At least that way she didn't have to worry about him moping and sulking and just... well, doing whatever she had it on good authority he did whenever she returned here for a time. Really, he was such a baby about things at times, it was just pathetic honestly. Not to mention, if she didn't ask, then she'd never be able to make sure that he'd gotten her notes for her like he'd said he would. And what had she gotten in return? He'd thrown a fit. All over his own idiotic assumption that she would be back tonight when he knew damned well she hadn't said that.

Growling uncomplementary things about men under her breath, she heaved another sigh and smoothed her features before turning back to Renji, ignoring the incessant buzz of the cell phone against her ribcage. Dumbass could call all he wanted, she wasn't picking it up. Running a hand through black hair, she cocked her head up at the taller shinigami.

"Sorry about that, Renji."

The crimson-haired man shrugged, as though bored with the entire thing. Or maybe irritated. Renji tended to be irritated, seemingly over the smallest things. Maybe it was just like Ichigo, some sort of free-floating aggravation that never seemed to dissipate but rather always hung around and influenced his mood. Either way, she was still rather certain that -- had he been asked about it -- he would have rather NOT had to listen to her yell at Ichigo.

"The hell'd he do this time?"

Honestly, he didn't really want to know. He didn't want to know about what went on during the -- in his opinion -- inordinate amount of time Rukia spent in the human world, and he really didn't want to know how much of that time was spent with Kurosaki Ichigo. But in spite of that, he couldn't completely dampen down the morbid curiosity, the niggling suspicion that made him ask, that made him pry and poke and try to find out, as though by finding out he could somehow do something about it.

She blinked at him for a moment before scowling and crossing her arms over her chest in frustration.

"I swear, that idiot wouldn't know what to do with himself for more than an hour. How dare he throw some kind of tantrum like that?!"

As she devolved into another tirade, he could see it again. The difference. The shift of things, how even as she was figuratively -- and literally, to be perfectly frank -- cursing the other man's name, there was a certain softness to her tone, a lessening of some inner frustration. As though the frustration itself... wasn't nearly as frustrating as it might normally have been. Swallowing hard against the gnawing pit in his stomach, Renji tried to deny what the signs were telling him.

He'd waited too long, too long spent watching and waiting and biding his time, hoping that he'd surpass Kuchiki-taichou and prove himself worthy. That he'd be able to show her his strength, his worth, prove to her -- or perhaps even, to himself -- that he could and would give her everything she could ever want, everything that the Kuchiki clan could give her and even more. Standing always in the shadows, watching from afar as his angel walked on without him. And now... now someone else had stolen her away.
Ichigo was his friend, his comrade even though it was a fact he hated admitting. He and the orange-haired teen had fought side by side, they'd watched each other's backs since that sunset day in Seireitei when he'd realized that on his own, he couldn't save Rukia. The petite woman had brought them together with her plight, and though -- to himself, or grudgingly to others -- he wouldn't hesitate to name Kurosaki Ichigo as a friend, an ally.... at this moment he could only see the other man as a demon. A hateful, black-clad devil laughing mockingly at Renji from behind that porcelain mask as he stole away the dearest thing in Renji's world.

It wasn't even as though he could claim ignorance of the regard the human boy held for Rukia. Hell, just because Ichigo was dense as a brick -- and Rukia equally as oblivious, when it came down to this fact -- that didn't mean he had any difficulty deciphering what lay beneath the surface. But he'd always thought it harmless. Only a childish infatuation, a conflagration that would ignite and burn itself out, and then the teen would move on to other things. He'd never thought that the girl he'd grown up beside, the woman he himself would gladly die to protect... would add her own fuel to those flames.

Watching with growing dread and an ever-increasing sense of desperation as she scowled and rummaged in her shihakushou for the phone, flipping it open to frown at the screen, he felt yet another lump of ice form in the pit of his gut as he realized with a start that the plastic figure of Chappy now hung beside a small crimson strawberry.

No... you can't......not him....

Before he half-realized what he was doing, Renji turned towards Rukia, large hands gripping her shoulders as he shoved her back against the wall of the hallway and brought his mouth down on hers with a hard, urgent manner. She froze, violet eyes wide in her face for a moment as though she couldn't conceive of what was happening, of what he was doing. Closing his eyes, he tried to relax, to deepen the kiss and show her that she didn't need to be there, with Ichigo. She needed to be here. With him.

Several long seconds ticked by before Rukia's brain caught up to the rest of her and she pulled back, shaking her head as her hands came up to push against Renji's shoulders. No... this wasn't right, wasn't what she wanted. She could feel the desperation, the pleading way he clung to her for a moment before reluctantly pulling back to rest his head against the wall behind her. It made her feel almost... guilty, in a way. Guilty that she'd walked away from him so long ago, guilty that she'd somehow managed to miss what must have been so obvious to everyone else for so long.

Renji was a constant in her world, he'd always been a constant. An anchor, a grounding force in the figurative roller-coaster that her life had become at times. His crimson-haired figure had stood beside her slighter, dark-haired one since the days of their mutual youth. He'd watched over her -- as she'd done for him -- at nights and during days, curled up beside her on nights too cold to do otherwise, stole with her to fill their empty stomachs. They'd made the decision together to become shinigami, a decision that had ultimately pulled them apart. Long before the Kuchiki clan had come to her and adopted her, she'd watched as Renji rose beyond her capabilities, as he ran quicker and further down that path than she could follow. Her adoption had only cemented the break between them.

It had been hard, so very hard to know that their paths had diverged. She'd come to him once, that last time, before she accepted Kuchiki Byakuya's proposition, hoping he would hold on. That he would tell her what was in his heart, ask her to stay with him, for them to continue as they had always done. But instead, he had let go. Pulled back with false cheer and clapped her on the shoulder and pushed her forward towards a destiny that didn't involve him. It had hurt, his dismissal of her and his willingness to let go of what they'd shared, but she'd made her way past that now. She'd moved on, grown into her own and left the old Rukia behind.
Shaking her head, she recoiled from his embrace as gently as she could.


"Stay. Please.... stay here. With me."

It was silly, perhaps, to think that he could get through to her, that she'd listen to his plea now. Now, when he was speaking the words he should have uttered all those years ago. Gritting his teeth, Renji couldn't deny the surge of guilt and self-loathing that rose up in his mind now. He didn't deserve to have her listen to him now, not after he'd been such a coward and turned his back on what he really wanted -- what they both really wanted -- and walked away.

"Renji, I.... I can't..."

He could hear the waver in her voice, and he pressed forward, brown eyes staring into hers with an uncharacteristic intensity as he tightened his grip on her arms. She couldn't mean that, she couldn't really love that... that human boy.

"Why?! You can't possibly think you can stay there forever! You're a shinigami, he's a human. Hell, he's not even a normal human! Dammit Rukia, he's a fucking Vaizard! Don't you get it?! You're not like him. You don't belong in his world. You-" His voice cracked slightly as he swallowed, looking away for a moment as his voice softened. "You belong here. With me. He.... he's just a kid. Just a kid with a mask, Rukia. He doesn't know what he wants out of life, what any of this shit means. He's not like us. He's got a life, a life that doesn't have a damned thing to do with Soul Society. You and me... we don't have that luxery. You.... you can't seriously.... love him. Not... not the way I love you..."

Part of Rukia's mind rose up in defiance the same way a hard lump rose up in her throat at the barely-disguised pain in Renji's voice and somehow she couldn't bring herself to rebuke him, to snap at him that he -- like so many others -- owed a whole hell of a lot to that "kid", and that it was none of his damned business how she felt about anyone. She hung her head, biting her bottom lip as she struggled to find words, something to ease the pain he must be feeling and yet still make it clear that she couldn't stay. That she couldn't be what he wanted her to be, couldn't give him what he desired. Reaching up, she rested one hand on his wrist lightly with a faint shake of her head.

"I..... I'm sorry, Renji."

He clenched his teeth at her whispered reply, the rejection still there in her voice as she stared at the ground. Feeling his own nails bite into his palm, he registered the strangely far-away feeling as he slowly pulled his arm back, dropping the fist by his side. His eyes were closed but he could feel the slight brush of air and the sudden absence of Rukia's form as she slipped away down the hallway silently, leaving him standing there. Balling up his fist even tighter, Renji slammed his knuckles against the wall with a resounding crack that -- in his opinion -- was a poor competitor for the cracking of his heart. Nothing would ever change. He was still just a stray dog, barking up at those stars. Only now... the stars were even farther away than before.