xXx The Next Day xXx

Rukia walked down the paved streets, which were unnaturally bare for this time of day. There were usually squad members running around here and there in the early hours of the morning. Still, as she walked and walked, she saw no one, this was beginning to give her an eerie feeling. The sky around her, which was bright and sunny when she left home, was growing darker. From just her few days of working under Mayuri's command, she didn't really know where to go or what to do. To play it safe she decided to go to Mayuri's lab, she was confident that she could find it. After a few minutes of wandering around, she managed to find the lab. She sighed in relief, as soon as she entered the door, the rain started to pour from the sky. She glanced around the dimly lite room, but saw nothing.

"Captain, are you here?"

She waited for a reply, but no such thing came. She frowned, this wasn't the only place he could be, he could be anywhere. Did he really expect her to go looking for him? The frown deepened more, she had no choice but to do just that. With a frustrated sigh she went back out the door, and into the icy rain. She stomped across the watery courtyard in search for somewhere else he might be, the only problem being, she had no idea where to start. Once she was socked to the bone, she gave up, going for the nearest door she saw. She angrily slammed the door shut behind her. The room, or rather the stairway, was poorly lite, but she couldn't care less. Forcibly, she moved her weary body down the passageway, not caring where it ended. The uneasy feeling in her stomach came back; funny, she hadn't been aware that it had gone away. Everything inside her told her to turn around, to run away. Despite the protest of her tired body and mind, she continued. The stairway seemed to get darker and colder as she went, she was down so deep that she could no longer hear the pounding rain above the surface. At least the silence made her body feel a little bit better. It was so dark now that she didn't even see the door in front of her, so she ran face first into it. She pulled back and rubbed her nose, all while sending the door that she couldn't see a death glare. Her body froze when she herd a low shuffling coming from the other side of the invisible door. Cautiously, she pressed her cold body against the wooden barrier and listened for another sound, but nothing came. Slowly, she opened the door with a creak, peeking her head in. It was just like the stairway, too dark to see anything. She slipped through the door and closed it quietly behind her, even though she still felt like slamming it shut.

She took in a ragged breath, "Is anyone in here?" Her voice was so low that she didn't know if had spoken or not.

There was another shuffling sound, she pressed her body back further against the door. After she managed to catch her nerve again, she stepped toward the sound. After a few more steps, there was another sound, and she lost her nerve to move again.


"Wh-." The voice was dry and horse, so much that it didn't even finish the sentence.

Without thinking, she stumbled through the darkness, trying to find the person that had spoken. She moved very slowly, stepping as if there were clutter all around her, even though there wasn't. Her foot came into contact with something hard, causing her stop. She reached out a shaky hand and it instantly hit what felt like a metal bar. As she searched the area in front of her with her hands, she realized that it had to be a jail cell door. A hand lightly grabbed hers as it rested on the cell door. She gasped lightly but didn't pull away, something inside her told her not to. As she focused, she could hear the light breathing of the person that was on the other side of the door.

"Who's there?"

"Rukia?" The voice was a little more clear this time.

"Re- Renji?"

Her eyes widened in shock and disbelief. She reached out a shaky hand, searching for his face. When she found it, her eyes filled with tears, it was wet with what she could assume was blood. She cupped his checks in both of her hands and pressed her forehead lightly against his.

"Hmm, I never thought you would find this place, Rukia."

Rukia stood and spun around to face the new voice, "Who's the-?" She stopped herself, even though it was too dark to see, she knew it was Mayuri, "what have you done to Renji?"

"What a trivial question, you were there, you know what happened. Did you honestly believe he was dead?" He harshly grabbed her arm and pulled her away from Renji, "you shouldn't be here, Rukia. I don't understand why you are down here, you had to walk at least ten minutes to reach this place." After a few moments of silence he spoke again, "Well, Rukia?"


"Why are you down here?" His voice had an edge to it, and he tightened his grip on her arm.

"I was just... It was raining and this was the closest place." Her voice trailed off toward the end, she realized that her reason sounded pathetic.

"Is that so." It wasn't a question, more like a statement.

He started to pull her back the way she had came, and she tried to stay in her place, "I'm not leaving Renji!"

Mayuri turned and, with his other hand, he grabbed her by her hair and pulled her closer to him, "You think you have a say in this?" There was both amusement and anger in his voice.

She instantly remembered whom she was speaking to, "I-I'm sorry, Captain."

"Did I not tell you, I would very much prefer that you call me Mayuri." He released the grip on her hair and smoothed it back into place.

"Ca- Mayuri, please, you can't just leave him down here. Please." Tears were rolling down her face, even though she knew it wouldn't do her any good.

"What would you have me do, kill him? I can't just simply let him go." He let out a small laugh as he looked at Rukia's pleading face.

"K-kill him, no! You-you can't leave him like this though, you just can't!" She slipped down to the floor and continued weeping.

xXx Mayuri xXx

His eyes narrowed as he watched Rukia fall to the ground and cry. That feeling was back, the felling that made him feel, almost guilty. He tried to shake it away, but it wouldn't leave him be. To his disbelief, he felt inclined to knell down and comfort her. His body acted on his thoughts, he knelled down in front of her and pulled her into his chest. He could feel her trying to pull away, but she was obviously too weak to do so. He silently cursed himself for his actions, but he couldn't stop himself. Despite his frustration, he gently pets the top of her head, just like a little lost puppy.

"Go back to your quarters, Rukia." His voice was unusually soft, it surprised him.

Without waiting for a reply, he dragged her up with him, and lead her to the door. When he opened it, Nemu was waiting for him in the dark stairwell, "Nemu, take Rukia back to her quarters, make sure she stays there."

As Nemu walked away with Rukia, he glanced back at the cell that contained Renji. Unless he wanted Rukia crying all time, he needed to do something about him. Keeping him here would also rise the risk of Rukia telling someone of everything that's happened.

xXx Rukia xXx

"Don't you have something for me to do?" Rukia stood in the doorway of her place, facing Nemu.

"No, I think it would be best if you stayed inside, for today anyway. And please do stay inside, don't make this more difficult then it needs to be. Someone will check up on you soon." With that, Nemu walked away from her, just like she always does.

She knew better than to try to go out, there was no doubt in her mind that Nemu was somewhere close by, watching. So, with nothing more to do, she sat on the floor and stared out the window. Soon, she drifted into a light, dreamless sleep. She woke up when a loud beating on her door echoed through the house. She stumbled to the door and opened it, half expecting to see either Nemu or Mayuri. Her eyes widened in shock as she saw who was standing in her door way. Renji was causally leaned against the doorframe, with the same goofy smile he always wore. Frantically, she rubbed her eyes, and was still in shock when Renji stood there. She told herself this had to be a dream, that at any moment she would wake up crying. Instead of waking up, Renji moved past her and looked around.

"Not really the same as your old place, it just feels different." He turned to her and smiled.

"R-Renji, what are you doing here?" She didn't move from her place, she couldn't.

"What do you mean, did you think that we'd all abandon you just cause you were switch to Mayuri's squad, come on Rukia." He laughed lightly, "So, how's it been here...? Rukia?"

She ran to him and wrapped her arms around his neck, "Renji, it's really you!"

"Damn, so it's that bad, huh?"

She looked up at him with watery eyes, "I don't understand, don't you remember anything?"

Renji put his hand on top of her head, "I don't know what your talking about. Are you sure your okay?"

She paused and thought for a moment, whatever was going on, she shouldn't say anything to ruin it, "Oh, yeah, I'm fine. I guess I was just dreaming." She was overflowing with joy, she was so happy she could kiss him.

He let out a small, sarcastic laugh, "You were dreaming about me, don't I feel lucky? Look, I've gotta go, sorry I have to leave so soon. I just had to see you, make sure you were okay and all that. I'm sure Byakuya will be, ah, happy, to know you're all right. Even if he didn't show it, I'm sure he was worried."

"Okay, I guess I'll see you later then." Renji slapped her on the back and left waving.

She leaned against the door frame and watched him leave, she was still very confused. She closed her eyes and rubbed her head, closing the door as she did. As she was making her way across the room, there was another knock on the door. Before she could turn to open it, the person had already let himself in.

"Captain... Mayuri?"

"Did you have a pleasant talk with Renji?" He advanced toward her until he was only a few inches away.

"I don't understand-."

He cut her off, "He doesn't remember anything of what happened. He believes that he's been at a friends house."

"But, he's been gone for a long time, Byakuya would question him."

"Renji will tell him that he was gone because he couldn't handle your leaving, not again."

She was still affected by the happiness of seeing Renji that she wasn't thinking clearly, she closed the gap and wrapped her arms around his neck, with much difficultly, considering how tall he was. As she realized what she was doing, her face turned bright red. She tried to pull back, but as soon as she did, Mayuri quickly pinned her back to his chest. She pleaded for her body to move, but she couldn't even unlock her arms from around his neck. Her heart raced, he could of just killed Renji, instead, he let him live. All the things he did, was there true feelings behind it, did he keep Renji alive for her? The idea seemed insane and impossible, yet it somehow made sense. Her eyes widened as she saw Mayuri's mask fall to the ground, but she was too shocked to look up at him. Before she had the chance to even think about doing anything, Mayuri grabbed her chin and forced her to look up. She stared into his golden eyes, which seemed different without the mask; they looked softer, making it seem as if he actually had feelings. He moved his hand to the back of her head and leaned down, softly pressing his lips against hers. His eyes didn't close, and she couldn't look away, so she took a chance and closed hers, his gaze being too much to handle. She kissed him back, with so much unintended force that she almost force herself to pull back, but Mayuri's hold on her was too strong.

He pushed her back and leaned down to her ear, "Does that kiss mean your going to stay here?"

"What do you mean, I can't leave."

"....I'm giving you a choice. Answer the question"

"Yes." She kissed him again, still unable to believe what was happening.


Sorry it took so long, and sorry about the fact that I suck at endings. With this and my other story done, I'll start some new ones soon, but not Bleach stories.