Chapter One

Author's Note: Hey Guys! I know you all are probably mad I haven't uploaded in a while on my other story so sorry guys! Hehe. Anyway I hope you like this story, I'm going back to writing this summer so enjoy some IchiRuki! However Renji is going to take over more of the story, I'm not telling you who he's paired with though! I don't own Bleach at all. This is for more of a Renji perspective so it changes.

Dear Ichigo,

As Soul Reapers, our jobs can be boiled down to the simplest of words. We exist to fight for the souls of the innocent and to purify the impure souls that are known as hollows. We fight for those who cannot defend themselves and destroy those who appose us. Centuries having a career like this one can give a Soul Reaper such experience in the field. You see things that can never be unseen. Families loosing loved ones, people getting murdered, innocent people that mean well turning into hollows, then you see the ones that actually have the power to see you. They watch you claim a family member for the Soul Society. The pain and sadness in their eyes makes you want to cry, but to show tears is an ultimate weakness of a Soul Reaper.

Showing emotion tells other Soul Reapers that you have been ultimately, utterly, and definitely been broken. Your spirit and will crushed in front of the whole universe to see. You don't get a hug or a pat on the back, you get the cold shoulder and you are shunned from society as though you have the plague. This society we live in, this Soul Society is supposed to be flawless and hold the elite, but why do they shun those who hurt? Why banish the ones who have fought and lost and cried? Just as every society, there are flaws, but still that can make them seem perfect. It is said that once you realize you can never achieve that perfection, then you are perfect. Soul Society thinks of itself as perfect, and to most it is, but they all have never seen the dark side to it. They have never seen the true nature of Soul Society through the eyes of a Soul Reaper.

For those who are Soul Reapers, you are chosen from the elite and must follow laws to which you are entitled to know. You be the best of the best to become one of us and follow the harsh requirements to become one of us. Zanpakutos required, kido spells required, and for a captain, bankai is required to go into high rankings of the Soul Society. Then with our jobs, we have rules. Rules that we must follow in order to perform with excellence, we must NOT get involved with humans. To get involved with a human, the minimal punishment would be 20 years in prison, but the worst part is the ultimate punishment…


I made the biggest mistake coming into contact with a mortal who could see me. I told him that I was his only hope to save his family, but in turn I lost all my power and was reduce to a pathetic shell of my former Soul Reaper self. Now I sit here in this white tower, waiting. Looking at what is my fate through the window of the tower. Waiting, as though an eternity passes, but it is just a few more days until I am to die. Long days they will be, but I will have time to repent and look upon my life. So far I see my life as okay, as though I have completed the purpose mapped out to me by fate. There is one moment that haunts my dreams. The strawberry blonde, the boy-no, the man that I have given my powers to in hopes that he could save his family and his town. He worked so hard, so very hard to protect everyone including myself, but that day. That faithful day I kicked his hand from my brother's leg and yelled at him. That day, I felt so low and like scum. I felt as though my existence was meaningless and that I don't even deserve the title Soul Reaper. That defeated look...

Those dead chocolate eyes and the crimson running from his lean body, he looked right through me. That look of sadness he showed, of such anguish. I wanted to run to him so terribly and tell him I'm sorry. I wanted to cry, to scream! To run from my brother and Renji and tell them that this wasn't alright! That I will not accept my sentence of death, which I don't deserve to die for saving him, that he doesn't deserve to die! Take my life instead of his! He shouldn't have died…he couldn't of. Ichigo…Ichigo Kurosaki, Strawberry…DON'T DIE!

I don't deserve his forgiveness or his smiles or him saving me. I don't deserve his good graces. I wish I would have died right then and there. I wish my brother would have killed me. I cry for him, I cry now. Ichigo, you deserve a long life full of happiness without me. You will cry, you will fight, you will love, and you will do everything a normal human would do. So, this is my last wish to you. Ichigo Kurosaki, live without me. Live with your friends and family; don't make them cry all because of my stupidity, and all because I was selfish. Live for them and no one else; do not waste your blood, sweat, and tears on me. Don't waste anything on a pathetic person like myself.



Rukia Kuchiki of the Kuchiki Clan

Rukia put her small blue journal down. She couldn't write anymore. The tears in her eyes stole the will she had to write. She promised not to cry, but she couldn't promise anymore. She was so strong willed no matter what happened, but today of all days she couldn't. Hearing about Ichigo in Soul Society shook her violently like a hurricane approaching a shore. She fell out of her chair and hugged her book tightly. She thought about her life, but mostly Ichigo. He came to risk his life for her and she couldn't do anything. She couldn't call him an idiot and tell him to go home, she couldn't do anything to help the fact that he might die soon because he was so stubborn and would not let this go.

She turned away from the white room she was in. Looking out the small window. She glared out and stared up at the cloudy sky. Her gripped her white kimono tightly and bit her bottom lip softly. Closing her eyes and trying to hold back the sorrow-filled drops from her eyes she whimpered. She couldn't hold it anymore...the white walls of her prison couldn't brighten the bubbling angry and sadness inside. She then opened her eyes and opened her mouth.

"Ichigo," She breathed and held back even more tears. "You fool! You fool! How dare you come here when I told you not to!? Do you not realize how much trouble you are in? Do you not realize the consequences of your actions? You could die! You fool…you're going to die…"

"Idiot, you always assume the worse out of a situation! And look at yourself! You're crying! That's so stupid of you; don't you realize that it's all or nothing? I came here to win no matter what! So quit your whining and get your butt ready to be rescued!"

"Ichigo," She sighed and sat down. She looked up the ceiling and frowned. "Something you would say to me of course. You always sound like a know-it-all when you're a total dumbass. You should have stayed home instead of risking your neck for my stupid self."

"You know if you keep talking to yourself, people will assume you're crazy," A familiar voice said from the other side of the room. Rukia looked up and spied the red head at the other side. She blinked slowly and held a blank expression on her face.

"What is it Renji?" She asked with a dull tone. He wasn't buying her placid act that she learned from Byakuya. He walked to her and sighed softly. He hated seeing her hurting like she was; a twinge of jealousy hit him because he knew the thing that she regretted most. The strawberry, that Ichigo Kurosaki! The look in her eyes whenever he spoke of Ichigo running around Soul Society with his friends trying to save her. She looked so worried for his sake and he knew deep down that once again he's lost his best friend and the only girl he'd ever love.

"I came to see you and tell you how Ichigo is doing," Renji said with a frown. He had bandages on his body and she was able to see them. She blinked slowly and stared at him.

"Renji," She said softly and walked to him. "How the hell did you get hurt? Did you challenge someone you couldn't win against?"

"Yeah," Renji said with a frown. His pride was just struck hard when she said that along with his ego. He was beaten by Ichigo and he didn't want to tell her, but seeing her eyes light up when he mentioned Ichigo was enough to make him forget the reason why. "Ichigo beat the crap outta me."

"BAKA!" She yelled at him and glared. "I have a mind to kick your butt! You know well than to…to…"

"To what, Rukia?"

"…Nothing, forget it. Do they hurt? Are you alright?" She blushed and looked away. The rosiness of her cheeks stuck out to Renji greatly. He rolled his eyes and patted her shoulder softly.

"Don't worry," Renji said softly and frowned. "He's fine, I dunno where he is, but he's fine wherever he is."

"Can you…um," Rukia looked up at Renji with a blush. She held up a book to Renji that had a small red heart on the cover. It was a thick book, looking like it has been read over and over again. "Give this to Ichigo? This is really important ok? It's kind of a last thought thing before I am executed. He loaned me his book a while ago…I just wanted to return it."

"Hm," Renji looked at the title inside the book and blinked. "What is Romeo and Juliet?"

"Um, it's a story," Rukia said and looked away. She sighed softly the line of her lips bent downward once again. Renji rolled his eyes and turned away. His expression grew very grim. He didn't want to show her, after all the years they had been apart that he was still weak, especially for her.

"Rukia…I…" He stared into her deep indigo eyes and sighed softly in defeat. He couldn't fight the fact that she was falling for Ichigo. "Alright…"

And with that Renji slowly made his way out of the white walled prison and out the door. Rukia stared off to him, frowning at the slowly fading feature. It hurt her, seeing him so torn even if he told himself he was okay. She could see it in his eyes, the pain, the resentment, the utter sadness. It was suffocating his inner soul, his Renji from when they were younger. As though the thought of their friendship fading, so were the memories of their childhood, and the love they both use to share.

"For you and I are past our dancing days." ~William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet

"COME ON GANJU! YOU'RE TAKING FOREVER!!!" Called out a loud orange-haired boy in soul reaper gear, he looked at his annoying companion and sighed deeply. "If I knew I'd be along with an idiot like you, I would of tossed ya and held onto Yoruichi or something!"

"Shut your mouth ya snort-nosed soul reaper! Learn to respect someone of greater talents or I'll beat you to a pulp!" Ganju yelled back and glared. "I wasn't the one who got us lost! Plus I'm tired you idiot! We just ran from over 50 of the best soul reapers this place has to offer and you're telling me you aren't tired Ichigo?!"

"Oh and you are Ganju?" Ichigo asked with a superior smirk. "I guess you really are a pathetic guy. Some Shiba Clansman, your sister is right! You are so weak!"

"WHAT?!" Ganju roared with anger and run up to Ichigo. He grabbed his collar and bared his teeth. "Listen ya punk! If it weren't for me, you wouldn't know your way around this place and-"

"You call knowing my way being lost?"

"OH SHUT UP!" Ganju pushed him away and grumbled under his breath.

"Come on you two, please stop fighting," A soft voice from behind them called. They both turned to look at the 7th Seat of Squad 4, Hanataro Yamada. He frowned softly and looked at them both. He was trying to be the voice of reason, but every time it seems his words could never reach them.

"Alright," Ichigo said and looked around the area they were in. They had just made it to a four way intersection. Somewhere near the 2nd division to be exact, if Ganju's directions were correct (and believe me they never are). He looked down each area and just saw white wall. Looking into the sky he saw big white clouds and a bright blue. He had to admit he was lost himself. A lowered indent of his lips signified his thoughts. They were not as mirthful, but thoughts filled with sorrow. He could not forget the day she left him.

"Ichigo! If you follow me…" Tear filled sapphire eyes stared into his chocolate ones. Her voice strained with sorrow. "If you follow me, I will never forgive you!"

"The last thing she said to me," Ichigo's look became very melancholic. He looked down and his carrot colored bangs covered his eyes. He gripped his fists tightly and gritted his teeth. "But why? I thought you…I thought-"

"HEY ICHIGO!!!" Ganju slammed a hand into his back. "Get your head outta your ass! We're following Hanataro now!"

"Huh?" Ichigo looked up blinking in confusion and nodded. He followed the two closely deep in thought.

"Hey Ganju," Hanataro whispered in worry. "What's wrong with Ichigo?"

"Dunno," Ganju grumbled in annoyance. "Humans are weird."

And with that all three continued on into the Gotei 13. Not nothing the channels that would await them.

End Chapter 1

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