At the End of All Things
Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach. That honor belongs to Tite Kubo.
Warnings: Spoilers for the Soul Society Arc
#01 - Motion
Abarai-kun races off in one direction, Shunsui and Jyuushiro the other, but all he can think about is the girl he's just left behind.
#02 - Cool
The breeze tugging at his robes would be refreshing were it not for the circumstances as he watches them lead her to Soukyoku's cross in the distance.
#03 - Young
Rukia is a mere child to all his many years, and she certainly doesn't deserve to die like this, reduced to nothing but ash.
#04 - Last
She strains to see him as she's lifted into the air, searching for that final glance.
#05 - Wrong
Rukia doesn't deserve to this, and her crimes are small things in comparison to the treachery he'll commit to save her.
#06 - Gentle
The rain is soft on Ichigo's window as she stares out, recalling the worst night of her life and wondering if her captain will ever forgive her for it.
#07 - One
She's just an unseated Shinigami, not even an officer, a single and small soul in the grand scheme of things, but her value to him is immeasurable.
#08 - Thousand
It feels more like a millennium rather than the two months it's really been since she went missing in the living world, and every moment is an eternity as he waits for her to return.
#09 - King
Genryuusai-sensei's word is law, but he's never before wanted some much to scream at his master and demand an explanation.
#10 - Learn
His knows the name of her zanpakutou and all her favorite books, but he has no idea where she has gone or even when she'll be back.
#11 - Blur
Her world is a haze, limited to her brother's fingers held tightly in hers and the hand of her captain on her shoulder.
#12 - Wait
Time stretches on and on as his clock ticks and she's still not reported in.
#13 - Change
He has never been a healthy man, but he has also never so badly needed to be one as he coughs and stumbles on his way to the Soukyoku Hill.
#14 - Command
"She's to be executed, Jyuu," Shunsui whispers, and the paper slips from his fingers as he rushes forward to catch his friend.
#15 - Hold
She is secure in Ichigo's grasp, and Jyuushiro has the insane urge to laugh at the comical way her feet dangle.
#16 - Need
As much as she has come to enjoy Ichigo's presence, Rukia still misses the warm caress of Ukitake-taichou's reiatsu.
#17 - Vision
Rukia gapes with utter shock and amazement as the Kikouou explodes in a wash of fire and energy, and her eyes unerringly land on her captain, heart fluttering in her chest.
#18 - Attention
During drills, his gaze inevitably always went to her, and Kiyone understands with painful clarity that her death will destroy him.
#19 - Soul
So small and fragile, like the most beautiful of butterfly wings, and she turns and heads through the senkaimon alone.
#20 - Picture
Her fingertips are thin and pale, tracing over the teacup in her hands, and he's struck speechless by the gratitude reflected on her face.
#21 - Fool
"I can't just stand aside, Shunsui; I can't just watch and do nothing!"
#22 - Mad
It's crazy, insane, unthinkable… lusting after a man old enough to be her grandfather's grandfather, but even as she sits in her cell, her captain is the only thing on her mind.
#23 - Child
Just a girl, and even if he weren't in love with her, Jyuushiro couldn't live with himself if he did nothing.
#24 - Now
Yoruichi comes to him in the dead of night, and he'd sell his soul for the chance at redemption she offers.
#25 - Shadow
There's an unreadable cast to his face, nameless and unknowable, and the determined look his best friend gives Shunsui sends a shiver down his spine.
#26 - Goodbye
As the Kikouou flies towards her, Rukia is filled with a deep sense of regret, remembering a thousand lost opportunities.
#27 - Hide
Shunsui's always been able to see through to the truth underneath, and Jyuushiro turns away so he won't notice the temptation deep inside as he finally steps away from the bridge.
#28 - Fortune
He is the nice guy, always finishing last, but there's something in the way she looks up at him that says it may not be so bad.
#29 - Safe
Rukia has to fight the urge to clutch onto him, just to hold on and never let go as she sobs out her agony of the last few weeks.
#30 - Ghost
When he first sees Ichigo, Jyuushiro thinks that he's Kaien returned to save her, and he clings to that belief even after Byakuya says differently.
#31 - Book
He gazes at the page, not even really seeing it as his ears strain to hear her approach.
#32 - Eye
Shunsui avoids his bedridden friend's gaze as he delivers the verdict, but he finally glances up at the strangled half-sob Jyuushiro makes.
#33 - Never
She wonders why he doesn't come to see her as she sits in the sixth division cell.
#34 - Sing
She goes through every story and song in her memory; anything is better than the suffocating silence and regrets that threaten to strangle her.
#35 - Sudden
It's unexpected but inspiring when he calls her to his office, heart nearly bursting at the excitement she shows over her first real assignment.
#36 - Stop
He grabs Byakuya by the shoulder, and it takes all his self-control not to shake some sense into the boy at his easy dismissal of his sister.
#37 - Time
He vibrates with tension, waiting… waiting, worrying as the minutes stretch into hours and then into days without a single hint of her whereabouts.
#38 - Wash
His reiatsu rises in a wave as he stands next to his best friend and across from his sensei, eyes simmering with something a bit too much like hatred.
#39 - Torn
Rukia doesn't know if she should be grateful or yell at him for joining Ichigo's madness.
#40 - History
Kyouraku-taichou knows her captain better than anyone, and the smile he wears as they pass in the hall gives her a flutter of hope.
#41 - Power
He simply lacks the strength to leave his own bed, no matter how badly he wants to go see her.
#42 - Bother
She knows that she's not a patient teacher, but she tries her best to emulate Ukitake-taichou as she instructs Ichigo in the not-so-fine arts of the Shinigami.
#43 - God
Jyuushiro has never believed in a supreme being of any kind, but he prays to every deity he can think of that he'll make it in time.
#44 - Wall
Rukia stares at the dimness inside Ichigo's closet, silently thinking about her captain and what he is doing at that very moment.
#45 - Naked
Every emotion is clear on his face as he gazes at her across the bridge, longing so powerful in his eyes that Kiyone and Sentarou are forced to look away.
#46 - Drive
It isn't because Ichigo resembles Kaien or even because he's just a boy; Rukia gives him her powers because her captain would've done the same thing.
#47 - Harm
He thinks this is his punishment for standing by for so long and letting so many suffer without a word to the contrary; his only wish is that it were him in her place.
#48 - Precious
She is so tiny, so delicate, and he knows to admit what he feels will probably break them both.
#49 - Hunger
He gives Ichigo the badge as a thank you because Jyuushiro can't find the appropriate words to describe just what the boy has really saved.
#50 - Believe
Her eyes are so incredibly blue as he stares up at her, and a faint smile graces her lips before Ichigo pulls her away to safety.