Main Characters: Ichigo Kurosaki and Rukia Kuchiki
Song Used: Cancer
Artist: My Chemical Romance
Summary: And bury me in all my favorite colors, my sisters and my brothers, still. I will not kiss you. Cause the hardest part of this, is leaving you. (IchixRuki)
This story is dedicated to my grandfather, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in November of 2005.
Disclaimer: The song "Cancer" is the property of My Chemical Romance, and Bleach is the property of Tite Kubo. This story will be told in Ichigo's POV.
Why does it still hurt? I've been in this God-forsaken hospital for four six months, the pain should have gone by now. It hurts the worst in my lungs. I can't even breathe without feeling like my chest is being torn apart. The doctors have given me every kind of pain reliever that they have, but nothing works. Not for long, anyways. The longest I've gone without feeling pain was for twenty minutes. I should be used to it by now, since I've been having to put up with it for half a year.
It didn't even hurt this bad when I went to Soul Society to save Rukia. All those blades were nothing in comparison to what I'm feeling right now. I want to yell, to do something but sit in bed with a respirator stuck on my face half of the day. I have so many tubes coming out of my body, I can barely move without feeling a thick needle pull at my skin.
If you could get me a drink,
Of water cause my lips are chapped and faded,
Call my aunt Marie.
Help her gather all my things.
All of my friends have stopped by at lest twice, trying to cheer me up. Renji came by earlier today. We got into one of our normal everyday fights, even though I'm bedridden and hooked up to a machine. I do take pride in the fact that, even though I can barely move, I can hold my own in a verbal argument. Some of the people I know from Soul Society have even come by. Guys like Hanataro, Renji, even Byakuya dropped in a few days ago.
Rukia's the only one who visits me everyday. Everyday, at exactly 3:00 PM, she'll walk through the door to my room and sit down on the chair next to my bed. We'll talk, watch TV, maybe listen to the radio. She'll always have something to talk about, some gossip she heard from Orihime or Tatsuki. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's stuff she's already told me. It all depends on what kind of day it is.
And bury me
In all my favorite colors.
My sisters and my brothers, still.
I will not kiss you.
Cause the hardest part of this
Is leaving you.
All of this pain, the pain I'm feeling right now, the pain my friends are feeling, the pain my family's feeling, could have been prevented. I don't know how I got lung cancer, and I probably never will. I don't smoke; never had. The only one I'm around that ever smokes is my dad, and he only smokes once a year, when we go to visit my mother's grave. Renji's smoked around me a couple of times, but it wasn't for very long.
I was in the hospital for about three months, and I was doing pretty well. According to the doctors, I was going to make a full recovery. With a little bit of physical therapy, I was going to be able to walk on my own in a few weeks. Then one day I started coughing up blood. I must've passed out, because when I woke up, I was in the ER. The doctors took some blood samples and did some tests on me. I had tuberculosis. It wasn't a severe case, but it was enough to screw up my lungs beyond repair.
Everybody's been telling me that I'll be alright, that I'll make it, but I know that I don't have much of a chance. Instead of getting better, like everybody's telling me that I am, I know I'm getting worse. I've been coughing up blood more and more every day now. I might be wrong, but I doubt it. I guess it's like my mom said when she told me that when your time is near, you know it.
Now turn away,
Cause I'm awful just to see.
Cause all my hair's abandoned all my body,
All my agony,
I told Rukia this, and she started crying, sobbing into my chest. I wanted to cry, too. I really don't want to die, not this way, at least. I always figured that I'd die fighting a hollow or an arrancar. Not rotting in this hell hole I've been thrown into. It probably doesn't help that I'm completely helpless. Everything that's ever happened to me I could do something to ease the pain. Now I'm stuck in a bed, not able to move, talk, or sleep. I can't even remember the last time I got a decent night's rest.
I could feel death creeping over to my bed that night. Knowing that it was coming any minute didn't help ease my restless state of mind. All I wanted was for Rukia to be with me when it happened, to be at my side. I didn't have the heart to upset her any more than I already had, so I just stayed quiet. Not that I could talk that much, anyways. I didn't want to see her cry any more, so maybe if she wasn't here when I passed, it wouldn't be so hard.
Know that I will never marry,
Baby, I'm just soggy from the chemo.
But counting down the days to go.
It just ain't living.
I heard the door to my room open, but I just dismissed it as one of the doctors checking to see if I had finally kicked the bucket. I kept my eyes closed, not wanting to talk with one of them. I've been in here for so long now, I can tell who it is by the sound of their footsteps. I was expecting the heavy clapping of the doctor's shoes. But instead, I heard soft, hesitant steps, like whoever it was was debating on whether or not to come any closer.
I continued to listen to the faint steps for a few moments before a felt a small hand wrap around my cold one. It was the only bit of warmth I had felt since coming to the hospital six months ago. I cracked an eye open, an a wave of relief came over me when I saw Rukia sitting next to my bed. I took a painful intake of breath, then spoke. "Hey, Rukia." I was surprised by how weak and raspy my voice sounded.
She seemed startled by the fact that I was awake, but her eyes told me that she was thankful. I felt her grip on my hand tighten, like she was trying to hold me back from passing over. She had to choke back her tears before she could talk. "How are you feeling?"
"Better, now that…you're here." It was true, there was no use denying the fact that I enjoyed being around her. Her presence seemed to calm me, to give me comfort. I took all the strength that I had and stroked her hand with my thumb. Her skin felt so warm compared to my cold, near dead body.
She smiled when she heard my reply. It made me happy to see her truly smile for once. She rarely smiled when she saw my decrepit body, and when she did, it was usually a false one meant to raise my spirits. Even though my senses were failing and going numb, the same calming presence was warming my body, slowly putting me at peace.
And I just hope you know,
That if you say,
I'd ask you to be true.
"Rukia, I…I don't think I'll…make it past tonight." The words almost shocked me as soon as they left my mouth. I didn't want it to sound to final, just to be a warning. But by saying that, I felt like I was singing my own death warrant. Not that there was anything to sign, really. The dealing had already been done, now it was just a matter of waiting for it to happen.
I knew it probably wasn't the right thing to say when her eyes began to water. She lightly placed her other hand on the side of my face. I almost flinched, having not felt something touch my face in six months. "Please don't talk like that, Ichigo. The doctors say that you're going to be fine, you just need to-"
I shook my head weakly. "It's…no use, Rukia. There's…no way I can…keep doing this." I couldn't bear to see her trying to put up a false front, just for my sake. I know for a fact that it just makes it worse. I didn't want to see her living in false hope, trying to be strong for me. She probably knew as well as I did that there was nothing anybody could do to save me.
Cause the hardest part of this
Is leaving you.
Cause the hardest part of this
Is leaving you.
On instinct, I placed my finger over her lips, silencing her protests. "Rukia…please don't be strong…for my sake. I…don't want to see you…living in…false hope." I moved my hand and cupped the side of her face, wiping off a tear that was falling down her cheek. "And I'm sorry…that I've put you through all…of this pain, but"
"Ichigo, don't-" Her eyes shone with pain, sending a twang of guilt through my heart.
"But…please just know…before I leave"
"That I love you. I have for a long time, but I…I've just never been able…to swallow my foolish pride…and tell you. Please know that…I would never choose…to leave you like this." I was on the verge of crying, but I swallowed the large lump in my throat and continued. "But if you love me…then please…just do me one last favor."
Rukia leaned over my body, her tears falling onto my face. She nodded, her other hand on the crook of my neck. "Yes. Yes, I will."
"Just…don't leave. Please stay…by my side…because the last thing I…want to see…before I die…is you."
She buried her tear-soaked face into my chest, sobbing uncontrollably. I really didn't want to see her like this, breaking down because of me. I don't like being the reason that someone cries, and Rukia was no exception. I used my finger to tilt her head so that she was looking into my eyes. Taking all the courage I could muster, I pulled her face to mine, and kissed her. Warmth immediately spread throughout my body, relieving me of my pain. I pulled back so that our lips were barely touching. "Thank you, Rukia. Thank you so much."
And I that was exactly the way I wanted to die. With the girl I loved by my side.