I don't own Bleach. I don't own Ellie.
The pieces of my heart are missing you
When you're gone
The face I came to know is missing too
When you're gone
The words I need to hear to always get me through the day and make it ok
I miss you
I haven't had a mission in a long time. I've only been to the living world once before but that was just for the demonstration with dummy hollows while I was in the academy. I'm not new to my squad; I was just never needed to go to the living world because I'm not a seated officer.
But now I get to go! Shinigami aren't supposed to show emotion but that doesn't matter to me right now. I think I'm grinning. I'm not supposed to be, but I am. I can't wait to get out of here!
For at least a decade my brother has been staring me down, like he's disappointed about something. Of course, that was the usual expression he wore, but still—it felt different when he was around me.
But now, I can go to the real world…and I'll be free! For a while at least…
I can't stop smiling.
Rukia was standing next to a table full of donuts, cookies, and different colored punches. Everything on that table was making her sick. She was so nervous at this point anything would make her throw up.
After she and Ellie got back from the book, Rukia continued working at the bookstore; moving in and managing it after the previous owner, Urahara Kisuke and his cat Yoruichi, moved back to where they came from…a place a long ways away.
Soon after, Rukia started writing again. She wrote and wrote…typed on the computer every night at seven to midnight, only stopping to go to the bathroom. She had deleted all the original BLEACH files and all the papers covered with its old words. She started over.
After six months of long nights, hardly any sleep, and many cups of coffee, Rukia finished her book. For the next two months she asked everyone she knew to revise it. She edited, changed things, capitalized things, deleted things, added things. Soon, the finished product had come.
Rukia sent it to the largest publishing firm in Japan. When Rukia got it back in the mail, she could hardly believe her eyes. There were only a few things marked (if you call sixty places a few—Rukia did, on her previous ones there had been well over a thousand) and the company wanted to publish it.
Two years later BLEACH hit the racks of every bookstore. It was Japan's number one best seller that year and many critics loved it.
Now, Rukia was about ready to go on the most popular talk show in all of Japan hosted by Ryu Micaryu. She had been one of Rukia's idols growing up. All Rukia did was say, "I'm going to be on the Ryu Micaryu show, you just wait and see." Of course she never had and even Byakuya couldn't score tickets to see her—just about the only thing she wanted to accept from her brother.
But now, she was here. Now, she was here ready to take the next step in her career. She was ready for this; she knew it. But her damn nerves were killing her.
"Rukia!" a familiar called from in front of her. Rukia broke her gaze from the floor and looked over to the voice; it was Ellie. She was about twenty feet away, looking back and forth for her.
Since that day so long ago, Ellie's appearance had changed dramatically. She had donated ten inches of her hair to a foundation that made wigs for kids with cancer. It had been cropped off above her shoulders and styled to frame her face. Since then, Ellie had kept it short, only growing it to just above her shoulders. She was wearing a pair of black pants, black t-shirt, and a maroon sweater that buttoned at the top. She looked really pretty today.
Rukia was wearing a black dress that contradicted her pale skin. She was so beautiful though, Ellie had told her numerous times when Rukia kept trying to put it back at the store. It was simple; short sleeves that were only a couple inches long, a wide neck line that cut just at her shoulder and at her collarbone. It cut off at her knees and her shoes matched perfectly.
She was really happy with how she looked today. Two hours ago, she dressed, did her hair, and talked to Ellie with ease. She was so confident. Now, though, she felt so terrible, like someone had stomped on her foot right before a soccer game. Nerves were a pain in the ass.
"Rukia!" The voice brought her back from her daydreams. She looked up and saw Ellie practically running to her side. "Rukia! What are you doing over here!? Now is not the time to be eating! You're on in like—two minutes!"
Rukia shook her head. "I'm not going out there, Ellie. I can't."
Ellie's eyes widened; then she sighed. "Rukia, what's going on? It's just another TV thing, nothing major."
"But this is a talk show, Ellie. It's different than the fans or the news crews. This time, millions of people will be watching me. I can't do it."
Ellie sighed again and looked away from the author. She rattled her brain for an answer to help the raven-haired woman. Ellie's eyes lit up. "Well," she smirked. "I guess you are just a Midget. And I guess midgets can't go out there. I bet Ichigo would."
When Ellie looked back at Rukia she could see fury in her eyes. "What did you call me?" she asked her voice dripping with venom. "And what about Ichigo?"
"I bet he could go out there without being afraid, Midget."
"Don't call me that!"
"Well, then go out there!"
"Fine! I will!! God, Ellie, you're so infuriating!"
Ellie smirked. She had a feeling Rukia wouldn't talk to her for a couple of hours…oh well, it was worth it if she would go out there. "Okay, then! Let's go!" Rukia stormed out in front of Ellie and by the curtains. She was pacing a huffing, totally furious.
"And let's give a big round of applause to our guest, the author of one of the greatest books of all time, Rukia Kuchiki!!"
The curtains and Rukia was about to walk out. She looked over to Ellie, the furious facade gone. Now she looked like she had not two minutes before; terrified. Ellie gave her a reassuring smiled and Rukia smiled back.
And then she plastered on a fake grin and walked out from backstage.
I walked through the streets, avoiding everyone I could…they couldn't see me but you can never be too sure. There was one little girl who said, "Mommy! She's dressed funny!" and she was pointing right at me. I don't know why though. I wear what typical shinigami wear.
My first day was successful, I suppose. There weren't any hollows so I wandered the streets and checked out some of the shops. No one could see me of course so I guess it's good.
Now I'm standing on top of a tall pole that has wires attached to it; then those wires attach to other poles. I'm looking at the moon; it sure is beautiful.
Sometimes I wish I could remember my life from when I was here. The Soul Society said that I died as a baby but I don't think I was. I remember some things…like talk shows, and books. I remember loving books. I love reading now. Writing's not really my thing though which seems weird…I feel like that's what I did when I was alive.
Hm, I must be losing my mind.
There was a knock at the door. Ukitake looked up from the book he was reading and watched as two girls walked into this hospital room. "Ah, Rukia, Ellie!" he said in the highest spirited voice he could muster. "It's so good to see you here!"
Rukia and Ellie both looked grim but they put on smiles and walked over to Ukitake. They handed him a few new books from the Shoten. He smiled and was about to speak when coughing took over for him. Rukia ran over and patted him on the back. Ellie and she then helped him lay down.
"I'm sorry," he apologized. "This darn cold is getting worse."
Rukia and Ellie both looked away from the man with such high hopes who would probably die soon because of his "cold."
Seeing their state, Ukitake sighed. "Why don't you sit down, and I'll tell you a story?" he asked. Rukia and Ellie exchanged looks and sat down.
When they had gotten back to the real world, Rukia told Ellie everything about herself and all the people she had met in her life. When she mentioned Ukitake, Ellie had wanted to meet him. She wanted to know the man that had saved her—or, at least, the human Ukitake.
"When I first started teaching," he explained. "I was walking home from the super market when I heard this cry in the distance. It was a man yelling out in pain. Deciding to help, I ran to the voice.
"Rukia—I'm not sure if you remember," he said getting off subject. "But, do you remember the old principal…Mr. Yamamoto?"
Rukia nodded though she couldn't quite remember as well as she probably should have. She knew that he had died about fifteen years before Rukia had attended that school; she hadn't even born yet. She did know that it had been a tragedy to the school…he was the one who built it after all.
"Well, he was on the ground…in the ancient looking robe. Though I was a history teacher, I didn't really know what dynasty it was from…it looked almost new—like he had just made it. And then, I looked down the road and saw this horrible monster."
Ellie was on the edge of her seat, her arms propped in her thighs and her head resting on her knuckles. This story seemed so familiar, like she had experienced it. It was almost like…
"Not knowing what to do, I ran to Mr. Yamamoto. He was on the ground, barely breathing. I asked what was wrong. He told me to take his sword and ram it into my chest. I was so confused, but I trusted him…so I did it."
Ellie gasped. "You're a substitute shinigami!?" she practically screamed. "But—how is that…Ukitake how is that possible?!"
He smiled. "Mr. Yamamoto died that night. I was transformed into a shinigami, yes. And I destroyed that hollow with my power. Am I a shinigami now? No. I lost my powers about twelve years ago…when I gave my powers to you, Ellie."
Though Rukia had wrote the book, BLEACH, she didn't know passing your powers from substitute shinigami to another human was even possible. Obviously, it was.
"But—but," Ellie's blond hair was covering her eyes. "You were a captain!"
"I was a shinigami for a long time, about sixteen years, before I gave my powers to you. I helped the real Soul Society with a lot of problems and eventually they asked me to become captain. After I gave my powers to you though, Ellie…I had lost all of mine. I'm not blaming you at all, it's just what happened. That's why I've been sick so long…that's why I wasn't punished for giving you my powers."
When he finished, Ukitake seemed way out of breath. He had gone way past his limit in talking and Rukia knew that. "I can't believe it," Ellie gasped. "I just can't…."
Ukitake smiled. "It was the best decision I ever made to give my powers to you, Ellie. You're strong and even though you don't have your powers any longer, you're still one of the best shinigami in the Soul Society."
Ellie smiled back. "Thank you, Ukitake…sensei."
The man grinned and leaned back in his hospital bed. When his breathing slowed and he fell asleep, Rukia and Ellie got up and walked out of the hospital room.
Later on that night, Ukitake–sensei died.
Today I rescued a human from a hollow. I was doing my patrols when a hollow showed, knocking down buildings and running amuck in the city. There was a spirit girl and a human boy standing, terrified by the damn hollow.
It was easy to take care of…just a swipe down its center and it was gone, disintegrating into nothing. The boy called out something and I turned my head, to get a better look at him.
He looked familiar but I don't know why. It's not like I go to the human that often and this was the first time I went to Karakura…it seemed strange that I would recognize him…even if I didn't know who the hell he was.
Renji didn't think Ellie looked more beautiful in her life. Dressed in a long, white wedding dress with thin straps and glitter all over, she was truly a sight to behold. Her hair was curly and was worn down, it fell to her shoulders. She was wearing makeup! Actual makeup!
Renji grinned as she walked down the aisle. Rukia was up, standing to the left of him. Behind him was Byakuya, his best—man. Not sure how that worked out, but it managed to do so. Ellie was smiling like an idiot, carrying her roses.
The wedding was very nice to say the least. And then, the horrific happened. Ellie tripped on her heels and she stumbled to the ground. Renji ran down the stairs and helped her up. She looked so mad at herself; it looked like she would cry.
"You're fine," Renji whispered in her ear, helping her up. "You're totally cool, nothing's wrong. We're just going to walk up these stairs and get married, alright?"
Ellie nodded and they did so, taking their steps together.
They made it successfully to the top of the stairs where Ellie handed Rukia her bouquet of roses. She looked up at Renji who was grinning like an idiot.
"Okay…now that we've safely made it down the aisle," the preacher said, earning a few giggles throughout the crowd. Ellie glared at that man.
They went through the vows, and the exchanging of the rings. Overall, getting married actually only took about five minutes. The event had been planned for months and it had only taken just a few minutes to actually get married. Tons of money had been spent…Renji's offer of just getting married at a casino now looked like the better option.
Of course now they were married so there was no refund now.
"I now pronounce you husband and wife. Renji, you may kiss your bride." Ellie looked up at him and he smirked, bending over to kiss her.
As their lips met, there was a roar of applause. They broke apart and Ellie was laughing. She leaned her head back and just laughed. Renji did the same. Ellie rested her hands on his forearms which were currently placed nicely on her hips.
"Shall we go, Mrs. Abarai?" Renji asked, grinning.
Ellie smiled. "I think I'd like that."
I went looking for the boy tonight. I don't exactly know why…I just had to find him. I want to know where I've seen him before…he looked so much like him. I have to see that human again…I have to…
I jumped from roof to roof following his spiritual pressure. He was really leaking with spiritual power, actually. It's no wonder he saw me.
There! There was a house in front of her…that boy was there.
I went through a wall in the house and found looked around. It was a bedroom with a closet, a desk—which I stepped on—there was a window which was open and a bed…with the boy on it. I didn't look at him, I didn't want him to think I was really looking for him.
"It's nearby," I whispered, trying to distract him.
And then, I felt myself flying through the air. I landed on the ground. "Wha—what," I sputtered
He flipped on his bedroom light. "What the hell are you doing in my room?!" he yelled.
It had shocked everyone. The news of being sick had put everyone—all her fans, family, and friends into a state that of total depression. Rukia had gotten sick.
The boy really was an idiot. Why did he think that he could stop a hollow with something other than a zanpakuto?
He tried attacking the hollow that had endangered his family, and several people—looking for him. His emotions got in the way, I realized. After explaining what I was, he didn't seem to believe me…that is until he saw the hollow attacking his house.
The doctors didn't know what it was or what had caused it. All they knew was that they could and would give Rukia the best care as her life slowly slipped away. She had been diagnosed with cancer and that's all it was…they didn't know where it was or where it was going. All anyone knew was that Rukia was sick…and likely not to get better.
She had never found Ichigo. Every single day of her life she had searched for the orange—haired man and every day she had been disappointed. She had done everything in her power to be with him again…and yet he never came.
I don't know why I did it. I jumped out in front of him, like a fool. He was in danger—the hollow was going to kill him…so I jumped out in front of him, and managed to get myself nearly killed.
I think I'm the idiot now.
It was four years after BLEACH had been published. Since then, it had been claimed one of the most popular books of all times, translated into thirty different languages. A very popular manga artist, Tite Kubo, and was made into a manga series…expanding above and beyond the original story. Soon it was made into an anime and a musical. Video games were sold and t-shirts were on every rack of every store.
And yet, fate always seemed to twist its way into Rukia's life. Just after the first BLEACH: ROCK MUSICAL had been released to the public, Rukia had gotten sick. She never saw the play.
I fell to the ground and then crawled over to one of the tall poles; this one had a light on the top of it. I turned around and glared at him.
"Do you want—to save your family?" I rasped, feeling death come upon me.
"Of course!" he replied. "If there's a way tell me how!"
I picked up the hilt of her sword and held it out to him.
"It will only be temporary," I told him. "But…" The sword fell forward and toward the boy and it stopped moving. "You must become…a Soul Reaper yourself."
"You must take my zanpakuto and run it through to the center of your being so that I may pour my powers into you," I said, almost pleading with him.
She died only six months after being diagnosed with the unknown cancer. Ellie and Renji had their first child, a little girl, during that time … and that child would never meet or remember her Aunt Rukia.
In the distance the hollow cried.
"I can't guarantee that you will live…but if it doesn't work then it won't matter."
The hollow regained its composure and started trudging toward me and the boy.
He smiled. "Then give me that blade, Soul Reaper."
At her funeral, Ellie stood up in front of thousands of people—friends, family, and fans packed at the funeral, saying their goodbyes to the selfless author…a woman who had touched all their lives.
"Before Rukia died," Ellie started, her hair falling in front of her eyes—and hiding her tears, "she told me something…something I will never forget."
I smiled as well. "It's not 'Soul Reaper.' My name is Rukia. Rukia Kuchiki."
The hollow leaped forward.
He grabbed the blade of my sword and pressed it up against his chest.
The hollow was getting closer!
"My name is…"
The hollow's hand went forward ready to grab me or him, whoever came first.
"She told me that you never know what you got until it's gone. You never know how bad it hurts until it hurts you. You never know how much you love someone until you can't be with them any longer. It's a lesson, she said, she had learned."
And together, we rammed the blade into Ichigo's heart. There was a huge explosion. The hollow was temporarily blinded but it kept moving forward.
And then, there was a sharp cut and blood spilled from his arm as something, or someone, slashed it off.
And there stood a boy with a sword the length of his back and bright orange hair holding the sword that would soon defeat the hollow.
"It was a lesson I learned a long time…when I fell in love with the person I wasn't supposed to fall in love with," Rukia had said, smiling.
In a story there is always an introduction, a climax, and an ending. In the story BLEACH there were several stories and several resolutions. In life there is always a beginning and an end.
And some stories keep you asking questions. Some stories are so intriguing that there's nothing you can do to stop those questions from coming.
And I'm not sorry to say, there really is no ending this story. For Rukia had finally found her Ichigo…sure, she didn't know who he was—sure he was a human boy, but that didn't matter.
This story is unlike any other story.
For it ends with the beginning.
A/N: And thus, concludes the story of "When You're Gone." It's been a long journey and now we finally draw to a close, I just want to say, thank you to every reader, reviewers, passer—by-er who just saw this story and moved on.
We are finally done.
And now for the next story that I'm writing! Haha
—AU—She's trying to find herself. He knows exactly who he is. When their friends set them up on a school-based dating website, they connect through IM, texting, and total secrecy. And it seems, that sometimes those stupid love websites really do work. I&R
Also keep an eye out for "All You Wanted" a story I'm writing with carrietheninja! It's mostly about Renji and Ellie and their relationship in a more Bleach-like setting. We'll be uploading onto her account, so yeah, watch for it!