I have returned from the abysses of abysses - school!

I bring you a very much explored theme of ichiruki. be warned of rusty writing and lack of humour due to my heavily fluctuating mood.

The Hindrance

Rukia didn't - no, was unable to foresee a whole pile of things in her life as a Shinigami.

She was unable to preempt Kaien-dono's quick and agonizing departure, and she was unable to predict being saved from execution by Ichigo.

And Rukia definitely was unable to foresee this.

She had come back one evening, walking along the pavement and triumphant with the purchase of the latest Chappy soul candy merchandise, to be hit with suffocating, violent gusts of reiatsu. Not just anyone's reiatsu - it was Ichigo's. Rukia could barely recognize it. It was harsh, vulgar, and it reeked of something fierce.


Rukia rounded two street corners with quick, fast steps and yanked the door to the Kurosaki household home open.

Extracting a pill with practiced ease, she hurtled up the stairs to his room, feet thudding hard on the wooden paneled floor. His reiatsu seemed to cut right through her stomach, and she had to cover her mouth and nose to prevent herself from choking as her eyes watered incessantly.

The door was locked, and she wrestled with the stubborn knob in vain. Human limitations, she gritted out as she swallowed the pill that she had brought up with her. Rukia commanded her body to give Isshin-san a ring. Ichigo's sisters were out with his dad, but it would be best to give them a warning. Besides, Isshin-san was smarter than he looked.

Rukia sliced at the door with Shirayuki and wrested it open, ignoring the splinters. A powerful fist of reiatsu met her head on, and she was thrown backwards against the wall. As she pushed herself off the ground with her left hand, she saw Ichigo.

What she saw made her fall right down again.

If he had been yelling, his face contorted in agony, thrashing around with every single sign of Hollowfication, Rukia wouldn't have been half as terrified as she was now. Rukia had seen souls being eaten, she had seen souls exploding into Hollows, but she hadn't seen anything like this.

Ichigo was lying face up on his bed, motionless. As she moved closer, controlling every fiber of her being from sprinting right towards him, he sat up with a fluid movement, turning towards her. Reiatsu pulsed out of him like millions and millions of barbed arrows while his eyes remained shut.

Rukia tightened her grip on Shirayuki's handle, a tremor rushing uncontrollably from her toes to her chest.


His eyes snapped open.

Yellow eyes, black where the white should be, the contemptuous sneer spreading across his face. The sneer didn't fit with Ichigo's faceit didn't. Rukia took a step back in horror as he got up from the bed, towering over her.


His voice was nasal, double-edged rattling drawl - it sounded like two people speaking at once in eerie unison. She regained her stance, begging her confidence to return as she held Shirayuki at ready, eyes narrowed.

"Where is he?"

It sounded more like a plea than a demand and his grin widened, showing pointed teeth.

"Don't you want to know?"

Without warning, he swooped toward her like a bat, bitingly icy fingers wrapping around her neck, pinning her against the closet door.

He's not Ichigo.

His free hand had formed a rigid-fingered spear, and he pressed it into her abdomen, grinning malevolently all the time. Reiatsu buffeted her, twice as hampered as before. Rukia tried to wriggle her sword arm free from where it was, trapped behind her back, but the fingers around her neck tightened.

"Don't hate me like that, Rukia-chan."

His voice rasped into her ear, drawling conceitedly, and she gagged. He had her pinned in such a way that she had to either shut her eyes or stare into his face. Ichigo's face, Ichigo's face with all his lines and scowls that didn't belong to Ichigo right now.

Ichigo - no, not Ichigo, He. He released the fingers around her neck, moving them to grasp her chin and jaw, chuckling softly. His thumb and index fingers pressed painfully against the hollows under her cheekbones. Rukia gasped reflexively when he let go of her neck, and that was all she could get before his bony wrist slammed against her throat.

Rukia choked, and against her will tears welled up in her eyes and ran down her cheeks. He grinned wider still (how wide could Ichigo's mouth get?), his thumb and index finger digging their nails into her face, drawing blood and stinging.


As he leaned in once again to hiss something presumably more malevolent in her ear, she took advantage of his shift in weight to bend her elbows backwards explosively, creating space between herself and the closet door, pushing herself forward against him, making him lose his balance.

In theory.

She had succeeded in bringing her sword arm out from behind her, but he caught the movement smoothly with the hand that was positioned at her abdomen, grinning all the time. Shirayuki clattered to the floor. He twisted her chin up, stretching her neck like a plucked chicken - making her look up at him and into his narrowed, sneering eyes.

"Nice try."

He let go of her so suddenly that she crumpled to the ground, legs giving way as her soles hit the floorboards of Ichigo's room.

-don't die.

"Huh. So weak."

Rukia planted both hands flat, palms down on the floor and tried to push herself up. She managed it halfway, but he let fly another vicious bullet of reiatsu at her, and she slumped again.

Bending down, he put his face level to hers'. His lips looked blacker.

"I'll kill you first, before I finish off Kin - GAAH!"

He threw his head backwards suddenly, landing face up on the bed, yelling hoarsely, inhumanely as he tried to fight something that seemed to come from inside of him. Rukia pushed her shaking self up, hands reaching for and grasping Shirayuki's hilt.


He was shrieking now, black eyes mad and wild with fury like a screaming vulture, screaming cursing cries of rage as he threw himself against the walls. Rukia clambered onto the bed with him, Shirayuki in hand; not knowing what madness propelled her to do so. Not knowing what voices screamed at her to run, not knowing what she was yelling at him, not knowing why as she thrust her sword into his heart.

Rukia held him at arms length, hilt protruding crudely from his chest, salt streaming down her bruised cheeks, stinging, as she shook him by his shoulders, shaking him, begging him. Blood poured like lava over and out of his chest, engulfing the whiteness of the blade. Thick, black, oily blood, like petroleum. Blood wasn't black, blood wasn't supposed to look like this. He twitched; his body spasmed violently.

"Ichigo, come back!"

His eyes turned suddenly, flashing rapidly, from black to white, locking with hers', and back to black again as they rolled into the back of his head. A final fountain of black blood cascaded forth, and the Hollow within him screamed, even though Ichigo's mouth remained firmly clamped together. His thrashing body slowed to a shudder, and then he was still.

Rukia let out a little cry of pain as her heart thudded violently against her ribcage - he was lost. He was a dead weight against her, his nose pressed against her collarbone and his arms limp at his sides. She, with much effort from her battered body, heaved him off her shoulders and rested him against the wall, his blood dripping off her nose and eyelids - she was drenched in his blood.

She pulled Shirayuki out of his heart and the agony buried beneath her raised its ugly head once again.

Ichigo's eyes were shut. Rukia bent forward, and on impulse cupped his jaw and chin in her hands and kissed him. She pressed her cheek against his, pressed her nose into his neck, sobbing quietly, breathing him in before his warmth was gone forever, cold and still in death-

When he wrapped his arms gently around her, she could do nothing but take in a short, sharp breath.

He held her waist as she pulled away, as she ran her hands all over his face and the closed wound on his chest, confirming that he was back, as her eyes filled with relief and something else he daren't place.

She shut her eyes as he ghosted his fingers over her crushed, fractured cheekbone, as he smoothed out her hair, as he pressed his lips against her shut eyelids, confirming that she was okay-

And they kissed.

It just happened, and even though it was clumsy and stumbling, they didn't care. Her face seemed to fit perfectly with his - she was just the right height for him, and him for her. He buried his face into her hair, his arms around her as if he wanted to tie himself to her forever, and she sank into him as if she would willingly succumb without doubt, because she simply would.

She had saved him (again) by pushing her sword into his heart, he had saved her from potentially burning execution grounds with his sword and stubborn determination, no matter how much she yelled at him not to come back. A tangle of limbs - her legs around his hips, straddling him, with all the passion in the world yet no lust whatsoever, as anything was possible with them together.



golly I am tired. sleep beckons, as it's 12.03 AM here in Singapore.

please review!