Author: Lira1123 PM
Ichigo deals with loss, guilt, and grief after failing to prevent Rukia's execution. Initially depressing, ultimately cathartic. Light IchiRuki implications.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Hurt/Comfort - Ichigo K. & Zangetsu - Chapters: 6 - Words: 8,638 - Reviews: 22 - Favs: 18 - Follows: 30 - Updated: 11-08-10 - Published: 08-24-08 - id: 4495345
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The pre-penultimate chapter! Thank you all for reading and, hopefully, reviewing.
Disclaimer: Only Bleach I own is NaOCl
Chapter Six: A Spirit Footprint
"Here in her little room all still and lone..."
The rain was back in force. It had been foolish for Zangetsu to assume that the lull had indicated real progress. He could not dwell on his error; his attention was consumed by his quest, a pursuit that required increasing amounts of care and precision. The latest fragment had been inside one of the decaying blue buildings, which collapsed entirely moments after Zangetsu exited it. He didn't know what might have happened if he had still been inside and he didn't want to consider it. The world he had once moved through as easily and naturally as breathing had become dangerous. Whether it was a general hostility or directed specifically at him was another thing he preferred not to contemplate.
Walking away from the wreckage he hunched forward, using his body to protect his prize from the deluge. There was one mercy in the sheets of water pouring from the sky: the acidity was gone, diluted away by the flood. Only so much bitterness to go around, isn't there, Ichigo?
Zangetsu knelt down, placing the fragment on his lap carefully. Next to it, he set a small bundle wrapped in cloth torn from his clothes. He unwound the cloth until it revealed a glittering mass of the crystal pieces. He placed the newest onto the pile, but was slow to wrap the it again. His hands hovered above the bundle. Distraction prevented him from savoring the slow diffusion of warmth.
"What more do you need?" He whispered.
The fragments had become few and far between and there was still no change. Zangetsu had hoped that enough of them together would reach a critical mass of sorts and coalesce. The optimism he had felt upon finding the first fragment was creeping toward despair.
"I don't know what else I am to do." Coruscating light danced across the pieces. "There is nothing of myself I can give to you."
Speaking to them had become therapeutic, but he had not grown so deluded as to expect a reply. Rain dripped along both sides of his face and a cold drizzle ran down the back of his neck. A sudden howling wind lashed his hair into his face. Zangetsu lunged forward, covering the fragments with his body before the harsh gusts could carry them away. He chanced a look upward as he re-wrapped the bundle.
The clouds had swirled into a forbidding tempest and the force of the wind nearly drove the pouring rain sideways. Zangetsu could see the dark vortex at the heart of the storm. Ichigo was asleep, plagued by a nightmare he could never escape.
"No... of course. Nothing of myself."
There was only so much space in Ichigo's inner world, only so far he could banish Zangetsu. When he slept the boundaries grew even weaker. Zangetsu had always known, and now there was a reason and a purpose for such an intrusion.
Securing the pouch even more carefully than before, Zangetsu leapt from building to building until he reached the apex of the landscape. That high there was no protection from the violence of the storm, but instead of fighting it, he embraced it. He jumped again, knowing the vortex was too powerful to let him fall. Zangetsu laughed with wild abandon as the whipping wind carried him higher and higher, into the eye of the hurricane.
Ichigo's dreams were a powerful confluence of memory and desire, and a soul was so much more than the sum of its parts.
Here in her little room all still and lone
The things that made her life are greeting me.
It seems as though her body as it went
Had left a spirit footprint, mindfully.
- Mariano Brull; "Interior"