Rukia had never seen Renji cry.
She had seen him pissed and angry and dissapointed.
But never had she seen him cry.
Seeing him cry did something to her. She wanted to do something. Renji was very upset. He was her best friend, and seeing him like this was something that twisted her stomach into unimaginable and unsolvable knots.
Renji was in his barrack. She asked Ukitake-taichou if she could visit nii-sama. He granted her permission, and she ran into the sixth squad barracks. It was late, and Byakuya was already asleep by now.
Rukia tip-toed into Renji's room. His deep husky voice that spilled countless quotes and words of encouragement to her was being exhausted in quiet sobs.
Renji turned around. Rukia saw his amber eyes red from the tears.
"Renji, what's wrong?"
"Rukia." He was serious, he wouldn't look her in the eyes.
"I hate you."
Rukia retracted for a bit, took a step back and stumbled.
"This has to stop. I'm tired of chasing you. Find someone else."
Renji stared at her with a blatent expression, one of exasperation and extreme sorrow. It was if he was grieving.
"Rukia. Let me tell you something you'll feel guilty about for a while, then forget. That's you're trend right?"
Rukia stepped back again.
"It's a story lifetimes long. A lifetime of not Living. Its my story."
Rukia paused then nodded.
"I was born, and as you know, lived an unsignifigant life. Stealing from adults, living with friends. You were there. And exactly that's what it is. You were there. I noticed at that age how you shined. How you were the prettiest, most amazing girl and person I had ever ment. I will never be as good as you. Even back then. I remember how on the hill after the last of us died, you looked at me with a look of grief and hope. The hope in your eyes burns into my mind. On that hill, I wanted tell you then. But I was a coward. We became Shinigami. We worked at the academy where I tried to be as good as possible to impress you. But my dreams were a ruined piece of shit when the Kuchikis came and inducted you. When I saw Byakuya, my captain's face for the first time, I wanted to spit in it. One of the things I need to tell you is.."
Rukia held her breath.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry for a lot of things, but of most, I am sorry I didn't go after you. I didn't stop you. I didn't tell you then, because maybe you would have stayed. But once again, I am left with an image of your back walking through the doors. Everytime away from me. It was me who didn't go after you."
"Shut up! When I graduated, I hardly saw you, you were busy and doing other things. You would have lunch with me and we'd be best friends like usual. But it was bittersweet for me. An ending that I hated. When I figured you had a mission for the real world, I knew that I had to tell you. I had to tell you! And when I get there that bastard Ichimaru tells me you're already gone! And when you didn't come back for a while, I lived in worry for you. And then that's when you met the boy with the orange hair. The man who robbed me of the only thing I treasured. I fucking hate you! And I hate Ichigo! And Byakuya! And when you come back, I go hell bent on saving you and all you do is look for Ichigo, and talk to Ichigo! I'm the one fighting for your life! Ichigo was repaying a debt! If you died, I don't care what he would think! I wouldn't live. He'd shed a few tears, but I'd lose it! But you didn't choose me! You NEVER choose me! And finally when Aizen decided to be a traitor, and I was the one standing for you, and holding you while I ran, and risking my life for you! I stood and I would always stand for you! Yeah, you were emotional about it, but when Ichigo shows up you smack me and scold me about smothering you."
"I hated that. I hated every second of that expirience. You never even looked at me as I layed dying. You ran to Byakuya who protected you from one sword when I protected you from an uncountable amount. The only thing I wanted then was you beside me! I can't even get that as I layed there soaked in blood dying. I wanted to tell you then also! That's it. I'll tell you now that it doesn't mean anything. You could come at me with all you got to try to stop my tears. The roses I bought you on that day before you left for the real world when you met Ichigo have died. The term paper from the academy that clashed with Byakuya was burned in the war with the ryoka. Every reminder of the past is gone. With no past there is no future. And Rukia, I guess I'll tell you now in the words I can explain."
Rukia's tears hit the floor as she watched Renji with guilt and sadness.
"What I've tried to say Rukia was…I love you. I loved you that I would die for you to live. I love you enough that I would fight for you. I loved you enough that I would spend my dying hours with you and be okay with that. I loved you so much, and yet…nothing. I've loved you all these years, but you know what?"
"I'm tired of loving you Rukia. I'm tired of it. I'm really fucking tired of it. And this time, I'm going to be the one walking out the door, and its gonna be you watching my back. My lifetime for you is over. I will no longer shed blood for you because you don't care. I fall and Ichigo falls, and you run to Ichigo not me. Run to him. I'll die happy alone. I will no longer stand for you, but for myself. Others will stand for you. I was a minor detail. I'm tired of all of the things I've endured for one person. One measly person who doesn't give shit for me. Don't even think about saying sorry or that you love me. Because you don't. My love for you will die when you do. I wish that that wasn't true, but you only live once. You live, and your life has one true love. Rukia you're the love of my life. But now, love doesn't matter in this world. I'm tired of shedding tears and blood over you. So, for my love, its goodbye."
"Renji! Don- Please Renji!!"
"Don't follow me! Its too late for that. You've someone else to follow."
"I'll live life my own way."
Rukia then realized what she had done after the man who had been there all these years walked out the door in abandonment. She'd ignored, abandoned, been cruel in general to the man who she should always be with. She promised to be with. The man who only wanted to be with her for her whole life. She'd ruined his life. All that and nothing.
Rukia sunk to her knees and cried, holding herself and sobbing to her knees.
He had every right to go, and every right not to turn back.
She knew that he wasn't coming back. She only got one person who would defend her because of her, and one alone.
And now that person's back was out of sight.