Human Expression

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If it wasn't a human, then you wouldn't be wearing that disgusting human expression on your face.

Her face had changed: become less stiff, more mobile. It was the gigai, she'd told herself, the shell to which she'd been restrained. But it wasn't the gigai after all; it was her, and she'd just been trying to deny it.

It wasn't the gigai changing; it was her. And it wasn't because of the gigai, but Ichigo.

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Do you like Ichigo?

She was a Soul Reaper. Emotions like love only sought to burden them, so they were cast aside. She didn't love. She couldn't.

But when her classmates asked her, she wondered if it was possible. If she had fallen in love with him.

Was that what it was? The worry when he did something reckless. The hidden reluctance to receive her powers again, go back to the Soul Society –

But if it was love, it wasn't strong enough to hold her.

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Run, Ichigo!

But Ichigo wouldn't run. She knew him that well: well enough. Maybe too well, because she knew precious few enough to predict them like that. She knew he wouldn't run. And she knew if he was left behind, he'd follow.

She also knew his lack of control would be his death. And even if she was a Soul Reaper and shouldn't care…she did.

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Are you crying for a human?

And Ichigo was dying. Would die, if someone didn't step in to save him. But there was no savoir in sight. No way out.

She couldn't even plead for his life, because that would simply get the both of them into further strife. She had already lost her dignity for him.

The only thing she could do was to let go of Ichigo, completely. Even if it cost her a heart she shouldn't have to do so.

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