Karasu: The last chapter, folks. I'm happy I actually made it to this chapter! XD I didn't think I'd be able to finish it, but then a few months after last updating, I got a new review and decided I needed to get back into this. Woo, it's also pretty cool that I started this fic when I was 12, and I'm ending it as a 13-year-old. :)
Well, enjoy everyone! And make sure you keep up with my future works. ( I actually have summaries of future stories I plan to write in my profile, if you're interested in those. ;D )
Chapter 4, Final: Behind the Name -The Dust-Covered Book-
How long has it been? How many days? Rukia looks down at her fingers and counts them off until she can't remember the number she was on anymore. Her back against the wall, she falls to the ground, staring into the dimly lit ceiling light. It needed to be fixed. In fact, it's been needing fixing for quite a while now. She hadn't noticed it until these days - the days where she stayed home and stared off for hours without end. What am I supposed to think about? Wonder filled her eyes whenever the slightest movement of shadows danced across the walls. They were mostly created by passing cars.
Back when she got up early each morning to faithfully read about her favorite person, things were so simple. Sitting in the coffeeshop with whatever volume she wished, concentrating so hard she almost didn't notice anyone else.
Then he came and ruined everything; now, because of him, Rukia's days were spent doing absolutely nothing. Her eyes held no particular gleam anymore, and her skin color wasn't as radiant as before. All because of him. One person came and upset the balance of her whole world.
A vibration shook the earth, and the volume she never finished was rocked off of its spot on the cabinet. The front of it had pratically turned gray from all of the dust. Rukia's eyes went to the book slowly, and she didn't react until the dust from it had collected in the air around her. Hand extended, her bony fingers wrapped around the spine. "It's...you."
The book looked no different, minus the dust, from when she'd last seen it. Appreciative of this fact, Rukia, went through the pages, gathering that long-lost speed in her movements, and then she found the spot she'd left off.
Numbly, Rukia flipped through the pages one-by-one. Hours upon hours passed, and at the end of the third hour of her reading, the new character had finally appeared. No physical description was given aside from that she wore face-coverings and black clothing. Then it came. The next page over, the final chapter of the volume. "Seen But Not Heard," was the title it bore.
Contemplative Coffee had gone out of business during Rukia's long absence. Ichigo passed by the abandoned place every once in a while to reminisce over the things that had occured there, and the things that had occured as a result of him meeting the raven-haired girl. He was lonely again, and even though he'd remembered her address by heart, he didn't dare to show his face. It was shameful that he'd dangled a prize over her head just to get a date. She didn't seem to appreciate it either.
Ichigo drove down the street, sunglasses on to block the Sun's rays on this hot summer day. The wind through his hair, he worked his way over to the side of the city where Starbucks was located, and gradually, he began to wonder if Rukia ever finished that last volume.
No, she couldn't have. If she had he would've known.
A hand went to her mouth as a gasp escaped her lips. Widened eyes, shrunken pupils; Rukia read the words contained in the final chapter while shaking like it was the middle of winter.
The new character's physical description had finally gotten more detail to it. Black, rounded hair with blue eyes. She would've have suspected anything if a picture of the character hadn't been placed on the next page. It was a quick sketch on an index card apparantly, from the clearly visible parallel lines across the drawing.
The girl sketched out on the paper held an uncanny resemblance to the one looking at the picture.
"Ichigo!" Rukia shouted, running down the busy street blindly. "Ichigo! Where are you?" She wasn't going to stop running until she found him, even if it took her the rest of her life without success. Nothing mattered anymore except finding him once more. "Ichigo!" Her footsteps hit the ground harder with each step. The strength she'd once had was returning at last.
A red convertible descended down the hill and onto the long stretch of level street. Ichigo ran his hand through his hair and sighed. Then he saw her. Running down the street, plain as day; distressed was the only word he could think of to describe her at that moment. He pulled the car to a screeching halt at the side of the road and hopped out, pursuing the girl as she was him. "Rukia!" he yelled, and that was all it took to stop her in her tracks. Her heart raced, but not out of surprise. Rukia knew she was fated to see him again, and that was all it took for her to make her mind.
Turning to face him again, a smile crossed her lips and tears brimmed her eyes. She wiped them away quickly before he could approach. "Do you know how big of an idiot you are?"
Ichigo laughed at being called an idiot - he somehow had missed her snappy words. "I probably do. You're still going to tell me why you think so though, aren't you?"
Rukia nodded and her smile widened. "I know your secret."
"Oh?" Ichigo said, an eyebrow lifted tauntingly. "You do, now?"
He took her up in his arms and rocked gently back and forth. "I'm a fool, is that what you know?" Rukia buried her head into his shirt and shook softly with her silent sobs. "God, Ichigo, yes, you're a fool."
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner," Ichigo whispered, while kissing her on the head.
Rukia drew back far enough to look into his eyes. They betrayed none of his words; sincerity was clear in them. "You know that new character was supposed to be the main character's love interest, right?" he asked, feeling the envy towards his own creation bubble up inside again. Rukia loved the character. Well, she had.
"Yes, and I appreciate it," Rukia traced the outline of his face with her fingers. "Who would have thought that someone like you, who drinks coffee from styrofoam cups, could author such an amazing book series?"
"They don't call me Imperceptus Veritas for nothing, Rukia."
Karasu: ( Who seriously figured it out before I released this chapter? ;D ) I appreciate everyone who read this story and everyone who reviewed! I'd also like to recognize Mika for being the one to read it first and tell me if it's good or not before I published it. :)
I'm thinking I might do an epilogue sometime in the future - anyone for or against that?
Notes: I'm pretty sure 'Imperceptus Veritas' means 'Unknown Truth' in Latin; so if you're wondering about that last quote of Ichigo's - that's what he meant. Lol. x3