A/N: I don't know why I WROTE this. whimpers I was trying to work on my imagery. I ended up with bloody Ichigoangst.

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"Butterfly of Death"

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Ichigo watches Rukia's hair slide through his fingers- black silk heavy with blood and guilt, something spun by the ghosts of bitter, regretful caterpillars. And Rukia . . . Rukia is a dying butterfly spread out for dissection, a goddess with no more believers, the only teacher who ever knew anything that was worth learning, the second most perfect woman that Ichigo Kurosaki has ever seen.

And Ichigo watches Rukia laugh, watches blood bubble up from inside of her, watches it stain her lips a rich, perfect crimson that no makeup could ever duplicate. The lifeblood of a god of death.

This is Rukia. This is Rukia who is beautiful and the second most perfect woman in the world, who Ichigo isn't ready to let go away. This is Rukia's life. This is Rukia's life that has been so long but that Ichigo thinks is still too short. This is Rukia who is bleeding. This is Rukia who is dying, laughing, smirking at him. Who is telling him he is an idiot and that she loves him with the same words.

He never realized before that she was actually beautiful. He never looked quite that closely, because she was going to be around forever, of course, so there was no need to. He never noticed quite the way her hair fell, quite the angle that her mouth quirked at when she smiled.

But right now, he can't see anything else. Ishida's bow does not flash and burn like a soul on fire, Orihime's Shun Shun Rikka are not flickering and darting like fireflies ricocheting through life, Chad's fist is not making the earth crack like dull, dirty glass. No one is in love or in pain or crying or suffering or feeling anything.

Rukia is dying and nothing else is happening.

Ichigo can't remember if he needs to breathe.

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: ende :

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. : bloody black butterfly : .