Pairing: Ren/Ichi

POV: Renji's

Sequel to: Young enough to die

Warning: shounen-ai, bad grammar, character death. OOC-ness

Disclaimer: I own nothing

AN: I'm sorry it took me so long to write anything but I was busy with some projects of my own. I know it's not as good as the prequeal (lol), but oh well.

Damn you, Ichigo! Damn you and your lack of brain. Why did you have to be so reckless, huh? Why?! God dammit. I'm so furious I'd kill you weren't you lying in a puddle of your own blood right now. "Number one guardian" my ass. What sort of guardian can't even protect his own sorry-ass?! I was so close to slashing that damn Hollow in half but you just had to jump in and get caught between those enormously big claws. Ever heard of tactics, planning? You and you obsession of saving people. God, it only cut my shoulder and you've got all riled up. I could strike back, you know.

Shit, it's all my fault. Had I been a bit faster, a bit stronger, had I avoided that hit and pierced the damn thing through with Zabimaru... I'm so pathetic. I guess you'd laugh at me now if you only had enough strength left. I wish you'd laugh. That soft smile your sending me, the feeling of your cold hand squeezing mine weakly... God, it hurts so much. I can see that you're trying to cheer me up, to say that it's not my fault, telling me to get a hold of myself. And I can only lean to plant a kiss on your ice-cold lips loose strands of my hair falling around our faces like a curtain. It pains me to see you like this – so weak, helpless. You were always so strong, much stronger than me.

I did everything I could: called for help, tried to stop the bleeding but I'm aware that they won't make it in time, that's it pointless. I know that these are our last minutes together. I can't imagine my life without you, Strawberry. Without our quarrels, training sessions, without you fighting by my side. Without that permanent scowl on your face and that stubborn attitude of yours. Without those rare smiles I cherished so much.

I wish I had the courage, that I told you earlier that I love you. But it's to late now. I'm unable to utter a single word. I feel so weak crouching by your side, holding your hand. I can't even hold back the tears spilling all over your face.

Your eyes are fogged, you conciousness slipping away. The remnants of your life disappearing. Your hand isn't squeezing mine anymore. Our time is almost over. And then you say:

' I love you, Pineapple.'

making me even more miserable. God, you did it on purpose, didn't you? Four words I wanted to hear for so long (well, three exactly. I've got a name you know?! I'm not some fucking fruit!).

And when I'm finally able to reply, when the words:

'I love you too. I love you. Love you. So much.'

leave my lips I can only wonder if you heard me, if I made it in time.