disclaimer I don't own Bleach, but I do worship Ichigo.

notes I really caught the bug, huh? Anyways, I have a lot of Bleach drabble fics swirling around in my head.

Inspired by the opening of chapter 99, even though that's not really how it came out. Renji-kun's cool though, neh?

pairings IchigoRukia and RenjiRukia, but take it how you like.


He knows that he shouldn't be like this. Acting girly, and if Rukia ever found out about this, she would be laughing that particular laugh she had, like Oh, isn't Renji-chan so cute? The weird eyebrows must be tapping into his brain.And he would want to punch her or the wall and scream I'm a man, dammit! And besides, she was the one that liked bunnies.

But he still found himself watching the birds in the sky and wondering where they went, where they are going.

Freedom, he thinks, is a heavy price to pay.

Especially since now he had to rescue Rukia, rescue her and not the other way around. Rescue her and somehow wipe off that look she had on her face. That look like maybe she had enough sorrow to drown in, and maybe she wasn't really alive anymore, shinigami or no.

And he wants to shake her and tell her to snap out of it. to tell her that the birds will always fly, no matter where she is. (Even if he himself cannot believe this. Not after she's gone.)

Hey Renji, she said to him once, all swirling and dancing in the rain, and it was just after she had gotten back with her captain, why do you think we always reach for the dangerous things? Why do you think we reach for the flowers at the edge of the precipice? And her vice-captain was gone and even though she was dancing and spinning he couldn't tell if it was rain or tears that streaked down her face.

He hadn't understood then, her whole "flowers on the edge" philosophy being too deep for him, but he had understood she was hurting, and he had wanted to hold her tight and tell her it was ok, it would all be ok. Instead, he had just shrugged and said, aren't the most beautiful things always the most dangerous?

And she had stopped and smiled at him, but it wasn't her usual smile. It was—like the smile she's wearing now—so much sadder and heavier.

No, he hadn't really gotten it then, but now he wasn't so sure.

He watched the birds and the flowers, and thought suddenly, the flowers are like humans, hovering on the edge of death.

And he was beginning to understand why she had gone, and though it pained him to admit it, he felt an aching in his chest, because he wanted to have been there.

And he was going to make it all right for her again. Make her smile like she meant it, godammit. Even if he had to bring her that stupid little shinigami-human. Even if he had to go down into the depths of hell (but, wait a minute, he was there already, hah-hah) and pluck her stupid little flowers for her.

The ones that were about to fall off a cliff.

There was something about beauty and death.

Oh Rukia, he thinks, walking away towards desertion (and, ironically, towards her) you don't know how close you are to falling off.


But he (and that stupid orange-haired punk) will pull her back up all the same.