Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach.


There should have been more than this.

Some sort of tearful reunion. Words of relief, pent-up emotion. Hell, he would have taken furious, screaming rage; he fully expected accusations and anger.

But not this.

Ichigo sat where Rukia had left him, at the base of the tree, Zangetsu on the ground beside him, her tears on his cheeks and a hollow mask in his hands and it was wrong.

She'd left. After he regained control, he'd looked up into her eyes and she'd gotten up and left.

He hadn't tried to stop her.

Ichigo closed his eyes and leaned his head back against the tree. Zangetsu o-san, he thought, what do I do now? But there was no reply from the sword spirit, and Ichigo sighed, opening his eyes to look down at the mask that he held in his hands.

It was starting to get light out, grey touching the horizon.

He remembered everything. And that's why he'd let her go, without a word, because he knew there was nothing he could say.


A/N: An epilogue, of sorts. There's not much closure, but as I tried to make this fit in with the actual plotline of Bleach, that's how it had to be. Thanks again for reading!