Author's Notes: Spoilers up to manga chapter 213. Run-on sentences galore, my pretties!

The World Changer

Rukia is lying flat on her back, breathing shallowly, blood on dark, dark cloth and Orihime is sweating and shaking and light is flaring. There's a hum in your ears like electricity and you know you should recognize it but you're too busy watching Rukia's chest rise and fall, rise and fall. Renji is standing by your shoulder and he's tired, you can feel it, but he's watching just as intently. He's not counting though, not yet, but you do because this dream has played out many times before and you have to, before you become used to death.

And then you don't see even Orihime anymore, just the golden glow and that low note like a symphony tuning a million miles away as blood evaporates and skin mends. Rukia's body pulls itself together and you can almost forget that she was ever in danger, almost, and that she won't keep on being in danger, almost.

And that you can't save her. Almost.

Death opens it's eyes and they are so dark they're purple and she winces before catching your sentinel gaze and grinning with all the superior confidence of that noble brother of hers and you want to shout at her until she realizes the truth. There will be more blood and sweat and shaking and bright halos of light. More cold pavement and rainy nights and white masks that break and rebuild, break and rebuild.

But you can't open your mouth because you're a fool who thinks that, with her still breathing, you can become what she sees in you. That boy who can see and cut and fight. The man who protects.

The price is a little more blood on dark, dark cloth. She gives it.

Because she is, in the end, a world changer.

You do not forget.

The End.