Shirosaki never understood why the King chose to be with that girl.

As far as he could tell, she was too quiet, too submissive, and too passive. Despite her figure, she was not an object of interest, and any lust he once had for her was short-lived.

So everyday, as he peered through the crack in the sky, and saw that girl approach him, with her long mane of auburn hair and blank grey eyes, he'd ask the king.

"Why do you keep her around?'

And each day, he'd hear the king's voice echo back at him.


Shirosaki in turn, would take this moment to spit on one of the buildings around him in disgust. Is this what he chose to call love? Because to him, it only looked like pity.

What was this notion, this idea?

If he held out his hands, would he touch love, smooth and silken? If he looked hard enough, would he see love, dancing around him, laughing in the night? If he stuck out his tongue, would he taste it? How would it taste? Bittersweet? Rich? Creamy? Sour? Spicy? Fruity?

Shirosaki wondered what would happen if he found a way to slice that girl's body into long thin strips.

Would there be love splattered on the ground?

Shirosaki then recalled what the King had said, when he had first posed his question.

"Love is not something to hear, to smell or to taste. It isn't corporeal to hold, or to see. It can only be felt."

So he held his tongue and waited.

He waited to feel love.

It had been years since the Winter War had passed. But to Ichigo, it still seemed all too recent. Too much had changed, and too quickly.

Despite their best attempts to avoid accidents, people were hurt. And then some were killed.

Tatsuki was one of them.

Since the rest of the city was not to know about the presence of Shinigami, mind wipes needed to be done. To make them all forget that she had even existed. Ichigo could recall that exact moment, finding out that she had died, and feeling the tears rush to his face. They flooded down his cheeks, leaving salty streaks on his face. He had thought that by not letting her get involved with his other life as a shinigami, she would be spared. It was too late, by then.

Rukia and Renji were one of the few who stayed behind to do the mind wipes. To erase any trace of her existence, completely.

But even they were unable to stay for long.

With Soul Society attempting to cut off its ties from the real world, to prevent incidents like this from reoccurring, the powers that were given to him, to Orihime, and to Chad had to be sealed off. And since Ishida had lost his powers during the war, he was simply forbidden to regain them. Rukia and Renji were forced to depart without notice, and so, Ichigo was told to simply forget. Forget Soul Society. Forget Shinigami. Forget and move on with his life.

If only he could.

After seeing Orihime so ravaged by the loss of her best friend, Ichigo finally decided to return her advances. He wanted to prove to himself that there could be something beyond the war. Eventually, their High School dates turned into something more, even as Ichigo and his friends left school and went on their own individual paths. So last year, he proposed, and she accepted. In two months, they would be married.

It was what he wanted. Wasn't it?

A/N: I had this sudden urge to write something angsty and with some Shirosaki to contrast the fluff that I'm currently working on (The Isshin Squad). The introduction is a little short, yes, but it does get longer later on. Anyway, tell me what you think. Reviews are muchly appreciated :)