To Love and Regain
A Bleach One-shot.
There was a faint hum in the air from the breezes whooshing past the two of them. The night was growing old, slowly, though it seemed all too fast for an impatient orange haired man. He and his dark haired companion had stopped at Urahara's place for a dinner party with Chad and Orihime before the start of their first year in college. Chad and Ishida were headed for America to attend school, and Orihime to England. As for Ichigo, well, he remained in Japan and going to school in Tokyo.
For the most part, he was content with where he was in the world. He had a decent job, a nice roommate – whom he'd known for a long time now (Mizuiro Kojima) – and he finally got his dad to stop trying to beat him up. The only thing in the world that was to his dissatisfaction was the fact that his boyfriend of three years was leaving for the East Coast. Chad was on his way to New Mexico.
It wasn't that Chad and Orihime didn't matter to him – they did, a lot. But Uryuu… his Uryuu…
The orange haired nineteen-year-old looked at the shorter man, but he didn't turn his head. He pouted as he looked and walked with his hands in his khaki pockets. "Yeah,"
"I don't want you to be sad." He said, fiddling with a gold necklace that hung around his neck. It had been his birthday present last year, and he had only taken it off to shower. He wore it everywhere.
"Thanks, but you're a little late for that." Ichigo snorted. He started walking faster towards his house, and his boyfriend followed quickly. Ishida grabbed the thin wrist but Ichigo pulled it away just as quickly as it was grabbed.
"Ichigo, stop it! It's not like I'll be gone forever…"
"Yes, you will. And if I die, you won't be there to know because someone will be in America!"
"I love you, and you know that. Stop being so dramatic! Chad and Inoue-san are going, but you aren't being so babyish about it! Plus, Keigo will be with you and so will Mizuiro. Don't complain."
"Why would you go all the way across the world just to study? You can get an even better education here, and you'll be with me…" Ichigo stopped and wrapped his arms around Ishida's waist as tightly as possible. He was afraid – for the first time in his life – of losing Ishida. Even when they were off fighting in the war against the hollows, he wasn't afraid of losing Ishida. But now… now he was so scared that he could barely stand up. He felt like his knees were bound to give underneath him and he'd fall over.
He didn't want it to happen so fast, either. For three years he never really thought of this day. He never looked to it as anything that would happen to them anytime soon. Ishida might have been somewhat prepared, but they never talked about it. Their relationship was just that precious to Ichigo that Ishida kept quiet about it. He didn't want to hurt him by it at all, and as for himself… well, all the preparation he could have had would never prepare him for what he had to do.
"Ichigo, after tonight… I think it's time… that we go our separate ways for now." Ishida's voice was a low and raspy whisper. Ishida didn't look at Ichigo. He couldn't bare it. He didn't have the courage enough to look into the eyes of pure despair that Ichigo definitely wore on his somber face. Ishida couldn't look at him for another reason: he was crying. Forget your damn pride, Uryuu… he thought. He choked back a sob. This is the boy you fell in love with… Look at him…
Ichigo was the first to let out a sob – many, for that matter. He's knees finally gave and he fell hard on his butt and let his hands lye limp at his sides. He was totally numb. The shoulder bag he was carrying had been thrown to the ground with him. He should have seen this coming. How could he have been so oblivious?
"It's not like I don't love you, baby. I do, I really do. But the distance… it'll hold us back, and it's for the best." Ishida was trying hard to be strong, for the sake of them both. It was unbelievably hard, harder than fighting an Espada, in a way. But it had to be done.
Ichigo thought he man was trying to be smart, as usual. Everything he did or said was straight from his brain and it always worked. But for once, Ichigo wished he was wrong.
"But… why now?" Ichigo croaked through gritted teeth. Unlike Ishida, he couldn't stop crying, and at the moment, he didn't want to stop. He had every right to cry.
Ishida couldn't answer. He pulled off his glasses and wiped his face from the wetness with his sleeves and with shaky hands he put them back on. He contemplated leaving Ichigo right then, thinking it might make it easier on Ichigo, but then again, Ishida had a heart lurking inside him, too. He couldn't walk away. He had to finish what he… they, started.
So, he ended up dragging the guy the rest of the way to his house and once he got there, he made an attempt to sneak in, unnoticed. It didn't work.
Ichigo's father, Isshin, caught them in the act and attempted to punch Ichigo into sanity, but Ichigo dodged it and ran to his room, pulling Ishida along with him. They sat on his bed for what felt like hours, in silence and awkwardness. Ichigo stopped his crying by the time they reached the room, thinking that it would only make Ishida want to leave. (Although, that was not the case at all.)
Ichigo curled up against Ishida's chest, and looked up at him with those pleading brown eyes that just screamed, 'Don't go. I'll die without you,' right before he fell asleep, unwillingly. Luckily for him, though, he began to have a wonderful dream in an alternate universe with his Uryuu.
Ishida, on the other hand, barely looked back in fear that if he did, he'd give in, and he wasn't about to do that. He knew what he was doing and he had gone over all other possible ways to get through it, but all scenarios led to this one. It was the most sufficient plan he could think of, and this was the one he'd go with, even if it killed the both of them.
When Ichigo woke up the next morning, Uryuu was already gone.
Three weeks went by dreadfully. Ichigo barely got any sleep and he left for Tokyo in three days. He hadn't even gotten his last minute packing done. He called in sick for work so many times that he lost his part time. (His boss was a freaking dick, according to Ichigo.)
Even on his youngest sisters birthday he was a mess. The family went to a nice dinner and opened presents there, but Ichigo barely spoke – let alone ate. Yuzu had come to the conclusion that her nii-san hated her, but Ichigo found the words to tell her she was wrong. But he didn't tell her why he was so down. Talking about it seemed to make everything worse.
When he spoke to Rukia a few days after Ishida and Chad left for the States, she told him he'd move on soon. Ichigo hung up before he started crying again. Women were the last beings he would go to for a feelings-talk – with the exception of his mother. He'd be willing to tell her anything.
Karin, his other sister, made notice of Ichigo's depression and instantly knew why. She was sharper, now that she was older. She tried to talk to Ichigo, but she was as hopeless as Rukia when it came down to it.
Ichigo had contemplated calling Ishida, just to tell him how much of an ass hole he was for dumping him and not saying goodbye, but he knew that he would never say that to him. He'd probably break down, again. And Uryuu would probably not want to hear it. Who would want to listen to their ex boyfriend cry to them on the phone while he was halfway around the world by now?
So he didn't call. He didn't send e mail. He didn't do anything but mope around and miss that boy, when he should have hated him.
On the bus ride to the University, Ichigo didn't talk to Keigo or Mizuiro or anyone. He didn't bother talk to them. He was being a dramatic little girl and he knew it – yet, he did nothing about it.
Longer time periods went by and still no word for Uryuu. Ichigo was passing his classes with ease, since he did not go partying or stay up late playing video games. Sometimes he'd wish that he was fighting a loose hollow somewhere, just to make time pass.
It was around mid October when he finally started receiving e-mails from Orihime, Karin and Yuzu and Chad.
Chad had met a Spanish girl who was a sophomore in his school and they had just started talking, but he said something about wanting to get serious. He mentioned lots about her: how beautiful her hair was, how welcoming and warm her eyes were and how she understood him. Chad really liked her. He obviously didn't hear that Ichigo had been dumped into an endless hell.
Orihime was studying medicine, or course, as was Uryuu, last time any of them checked. She said lots of males were following her around, and she finally went to a party and made a ton of friends. She planned on coming home for Christmas break.
Karin and Yuzu hated school, of course. Their e-mails were fool of complaints like, 'I-hate-my-life-come-home-big-brother-dad-is-a-big-load-of-poop' and 'i-miss-dad-trying-to-kill-you-for-our-enjoyment' kinds of things.
When he finally got a message from Uryuu, his day brightened up so much that he gave Mizuiro the most awkward of hugs anyone could ever give. It caused Mizuiro to race out of the dorm room and not come back until Ichigo was in bed.
The message was short, but it said a lot:
I'm deeply sorry that I haven't been in touch. My classes are extremely difficult so I spend most of my time studying or arguing with Ryuuken. Can you tell Inoue-san and Chad I said hello, please?
PS: I miss you. A lot.
Ichigo forgave him in a matter of seconds after reading that message, but he wasn't sure why. But at that moment he realized that moping around and being sad would never bring his Uryuu back. Some things had to be done and others changed, and Ichigo had a plane ticket to buy.
A/N: Sorry this is so bad. I think it's decent - but that's for you to decide. I had really no inspiration to write this, but I did when I started. Maybe if the inspiration comes back I'll write a sequel to it and make it longer. But when I started this I really wanted it to be good, about Ichigo's willingness to go to great lengths to get what he needed, you know? I guess I got kind of close. Oh well!
Word count: 2,108.