Cataracta's Notes: My first wander into Bleach fanfiction. It's a bit dark, and short, and don't get me wrong, I love Rukia X Ichigo, but this popped into my head and I needed to write it. Let me know what you think!

The Turn We Missed

"When she tells him goodbye, her voice is steady and her eyes are clear, because, really, she knows it's better this way. Rukia X Ichigo"

"Goodbye."

It's clean, short and simple. There are no extra words, no explanations and no doubts. Nothing but a simple word and its simple meaning, and she regrets nothing. She stares him straight in the eye, waiting for him to believe her as he slowly comes to grasp the meaning behind her word, but for him nothing is ever that simple.

His eyes tell her that he will not let go, that he will seek her out and find her and chase her down until she tires of being the mouse, and Rukia is not willing to let that happen. So she steps towards Ichigo, a quiet disarming step that tells him that maybe she is changing her mind, and with a careful, quick movement, she slams her zanpakuto against his temple and watches as he crumples to the ground.

There are no regrets, and no long goodbyes, just a simple word and a few quick steps away. There are butterflies, black ones, and a silly little boy with orange hair laying on a deserted stretch of road where he once helped a ghost. Rukia is hoping that he can help himself here, hoping that he can help himself see that whatever they had was wrong and dead before it was even given a chance to breathe. She is hoping that he can see that someday, somehow, she will become nothing more than a bad memory, nothing more than a sour taste on the back of his tongue.

But Rukia knows that that is not how it will be, she knows that he will wake and he will try to find her. She knows that he will come up with every excuse he can to justify her actions, but there is none. There is only the simple truth, a simple truth that even he will not be able to deny, someday.

"Goodbye."