Oh my goodness. 100. We are finally at 100. I will leave my long gushing note for the end because otherwise we're never actually going to get to the drabble. Please enjoy this final installment of Kaleidoscope. :)
a Bleach (© Kubo Tite) fanfiction
Opening Song: "Girl With the Red Balloon" — The Civil Wars
It's the night of their high school graduation, but they still feel like kids. They run around screaming, wave bottles of grape juice (mixed with a little something else) in the air, play with party poppers, and sing at the top of their lungs. It's the end of one long chapter in their lives and so much awaits them in the future — but that's not what they're thinking about now. Now it's about the friends and the memories that are still fresh and still here. Things may change, but in this moment everything is the way it should be.
He pulls her away from her friends, who are blowing off fireworks and playing obnoxious pop music, so that it's just the two of them. Just like when they were kids. "Where're your friends?" she asks, raising an eyebrow at him suspiciously.
"It doesn't matter," he replies. When she purses her lips, he chuckles and gives her wrist a light tug. "I have no idea where they are, and it doesn't matter anyway. C'mon, quit askin' questions." Even though Rangiku pouts and whines about how she's almost out of grape juice, she allows herself to be dragged up to the rooftop.
Half of her expects some romantic picnic with a checkered blanket and a woven basket full of food, but Gin's never really been the romantic type so she doesn't allow herself to be too disappointed when it's not there. "Did you wanna talk about something?" she asks as she plops down and pulls her knees up against her chest.
Gin leans against the fence barrier, wearing that same teasing grin she's seen glued to his face since they met at age four. "I need to have a reason to talk to ya nowadays? Geez, you're really holdin' up high standards."
Rangiku rolls her eyes. "Shut up, Gin."
They sit in silence, save for the loud voices below them and the crackling fireworks above. "Woah, woah, woah, those are the goods ones!" shouts Ichigo.
"We're out of the other ones. Let's just use these," says Renji.
"But those were really expensive—"
"We bought them so we could use them, idiot."
"Geez, I can't believe we're actually having this argument," Rukia sighs. Ichigo and Renji continue to shout at each other until suddenly a burst of fireworks shoot up into the air, screaming and crackling and bursting into a full palette of colors.
Gin leans his head back so that he can fully see the sky. "Wow, those're somethin'. Your friends really got an eye for good fireworks." He whistles, clearly impressed, then drops his gaze to Rangiku. She isn't looking at the fireworks; her eyes are focused entirely on him. For once, he's the one who feels unnerved. "What?"
"Mmm, nothing," she answers, donning a mysterious smile. "Just thinking about where we're gonna be a year from now. We probably won't even be friends, you know? Considering how well you keep in touch with people you live down the street from."
That should probably hurt to hear, but Gin chuckles anyway. "You gotta give me more credit, Rangiku."
"But you wouldn't really deserve it…" He gives her a stern look and her smile cracks out into a full blown laugh. "Seriously, though. Don't you ever think about the future? I mean, I know you got into that university you really wanted to go to, but…"
There's that far away look in his eye again, the one that makes her think he's just going to pick everything up and leave without a trace. "I'm always thinkin' about the future," he says. He leans his head back against the fence, resumes his admiration of the sparkling fireworks in the sky.
"Yeah." He pushes himself away from the barrier so that he can take a seat beside Rangiku. "I guess there ain't much I can really do about it if it decides it's gonna happen, but I think about it. I know you think about it. Everyone thinks about it."
She nudges him playfully with her elbow. "Yeah, but you think about it way more than everyone else. Sometimes I think you forget you're living in the present."
"Yeah, I guess that's true," he acquiesces. "I got a lot to think about, a lot o' things I wanna do, a lot o' promises I gotta keep."
Both of her eyebrows raise in surprise. "Promises? To who?"
"I can't tell ya, otherwise they wouldn't come true."
"Those are wishes, Gin," she says, deadpanning.
He laughs. "I guess most o' my promises are more like wishes then." He bumps his knee against hers, and they both turn their eyes away from the show in the sky to look at each other. It's a silent moment that says everything that needs to be said. "So I guess I'll keep 'em to myself for now. Maybe you'll know once they come true, though."
"Mm, you'll actually keep in contact with me long enough to do that? That's sweet, Gin."
"Your endearing sarcasm aside, I'm hopin' you'll find out 'cause you'll be there with me."
It takes a moment for the meaning of his words to sink in. When they finally do, Rangiku's cheeks start to burn — and she roughly punches him in the arm. "Shut up, Gin," she says again as she buries her face in her knees.
He falls back so that he's laying on the ground. Knowing that Rangiku is still at his side, he closes his eyes and breathes in.
Closing Song: "Kiss With a Fist" — Florence + the Machine
First, I want to thank each and every one of you, every reviewer, everyone who added this to their favorites/alerts list, every reader. Without you, this story would have never come to fruition. You guys have kept me going, despite my long breaks. Old readers (ones who probably aren't even reading this anymore haha) and new readers — all of you truly have a special place in my heart. I am so horned and so blessed to have had you guys read these drabbles, from start to end. I like to think that I've grown, both as a person and as a writer, and it's awesome to have witnesses to that. :)
I want to thank each of you individually and list all your greatnesses, but that'd take a long time and I'm hungry and really tired. But you are all so wonderful, and I believe that it's true that readers help make the writer. You've made these past five+ years so, so wonderful, and I am so thankful.
Also, I really do need to pick a less painful OTP.