A/N: This little fic was born of chattering to Moonsheen about Rukia and Ichigo's peculiar dynamics. This is one of the many, many versions that came up.

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"Things You Want to Say"

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You want to tell him.

You are so much older than he is, and you've told him THAT before but you don't really know if he remembers, if he understood.

You want to tell him. To explain.

But he looks at you with a childish yearning in his eyes and you think, "you are a baby, you are a child, you have never been in love before." Except now he is and it's not fair, you think, not fair at all that you have to be the first one to hurt him. You expected that you would have to deal with this, but you thought it would be in the form of him mooning over some unattainable upperclassman and being burned, and you would merely be the one to soothe him later with reassurances and teasing.

He is fifteen. You do not even REMEMBER being fifteen, just a vague feeling of being invincible and terrified all at once, of needing things that you did not yet understand and craving an identity. But he is fifteen and when he looks at you, you know that he needs you, or at least thinks that he does.

He'd be dead if not for you. You'd be dead if not for him. You saved each other, ruined each other, did everything right and everything wrong and every time he looks at you he's a little more confused.

You want to tell him.

But even if you do, he'll never understand.

So you don't say anything and you let him think he's hiding it from you. Because it's easier than the truth and you don't want to hurt him. Because if you told him he might be angry, might think you had presumed too much.

He wants you to be his "girlfriend."

You want to be his mother.

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: ende :

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. : call it an oedipus complex : .