Title: For the ethereal blow
Rating: K/ PG
Fandom / Pairing: Bleach, Ichigo/Rukia. (Kind of?)
Disclaimer: Bleach copyright Shonen Jump and Kubo Tite. All rights reserved.
Summary: I am not a dark person and I don't consider myself dark.
Notes: Futurefic. For Thanh.

He can hear her breathing in the absolute stillness of the night. The blades of the ceiling fan spin lazily in the humid air, utterly ineffective, and he traces their shadows against the white paint.

He blinks in time with the hum of the fan, and every time he sees an afterimage of the last battle. It's permanently etched on his cornea, it seems, and the outlines linger in the darkness of his vision for longer than he'd like. He stifles a groan and covers his eyes with the inside of his elbow, content to shut out the world and fall into a dreamless (if troubled) sleep.

Instead, she shifts beside him and makes a soft noise, and the hum of the fan turns to a rushing sound in his ears. He can feel the soft material of her pajamas against his skin where the t-shirt's rode up and the way she's kicking him gently against his shin in her sleep. The skin against his eyes begins to feel humid and he lifts it away. He rubs his eyes absently with one hand before crooking it behind his head.

She's alive, and that's all that really matters. Able-bodied or not, he's glad she's okay, and that he hasn't lost another name sake. "I-chi-go" is the same as "ma-mo-ru," and he thinks his mother was a little bit crazy. Rukia shifts again and her breath catches before she sighs and burrows into his mattress. His gaze shifts to her, traces the curve of her shoulder and the shadow of a nasty scar across her back, jagged edge winding its way over her shoulder blades and under the edge of the tank top. The muscles of his face relax ever so slightly and the furrow of his brow is a little softer.

His gaze shifts back to the ceiling and he breathes. A passing car casts a moving shadow across the wall, the roving light shifting fluidly across all three walls of his room, making other shadows shift and sigh. He turns his head and looks out of the window, at the few stars visible in the Karakura sky. A shooting star passes by, the trail visible long after it's passed. He turns back to the fan above him and closes his eyes and tries to think of a wish, just like his mother used to tell him to do. His mind remains blank until Rukia shifts again, turning to rest on her stomach facing him, one arm splayed against his chest. He blinks at the spinning shadow once more, internally berating himself for being so childish.

He brings the hand behind his head to rest on his stomach, just below hers but touching all along the lengths of their arms. He sighs and kicks off the sheets a little more and closes his eyes.

He's hungry.

[1 "For the ethereal blow" - Emily Dickinson

[2 "I am not a dark person and I don't consider myself dark." - Tim Burton