It suited them.

They lived life (if that's what you could call it) and so they died (if that's even the proper word) on their own terms. A mutual decision, something that hadn't really needed words, just like the glances they shared in between the shouting matches and the reason they never left the other behind.

Rukia limped across the asphalt to Ichigos' prostrate form, and he gave something like a smile in welcome, (it was really just a lightening of his usual scowl, but she knew what it meant all the same) motioning as well as he could for her to take a seat beside him. She took him up on the offer, collapsing to the ground with a sigh of something akin to relief, and they watched the stars reflect in the growing pool of red they shared.

She takes his waiting hand and nestles her head in the crook of his shoulder, and he rests his cheek against her soiled hair and they both feel the others heat slowly depart, and think about what they had. They lived. They died. They lived again. They fought.

There was another lifetime for having children and mortgage payments, proms and paperwork and dead end jobs, growing dim and grey together in the twilight of their lives. Like a candle with an uncut wick, they burned bright and quick, blinding those who dared to look upon their greatness, both eclipsing the other and themselves and the dark center they had tried to hide. And just as soon they were gone, leaving nothing but a trail of smoke in their wake and a memory in the minds of the few who had cared to understand what truly had transpired.

But that suited them.

And so, just once they shared a bed, made of satin sheets of the deepest red upon a mattress too hard for their liking and yet they liked all the same, shielded by a blanket of darkness. And they closed their eyes together and slept. They did not dream. They had no regrets.

A/N: Just assume for the sake of coherency that Ichigo has already died once, and exists, or did exist, only as a shinigami. I don't really intend for this to be too entirely tragic, but it really would be if he was finally able to be with her, only for Rukia to be reborn in the world he had just left. That would just be sad.

It seems I write best after 1:00 AM. This is going to cause problems once school starts again. –sighs-