New York, New York. The city where dreams go to die.

The night is cold, and the acrid scent of smoke is in the air, wafting up from the end of his cigarette and blowing from her full lips. The ghostly whine of a faraway siren, maybe a fire truck, maybe a paramedic, slides in across the thick silence and then fades away, leaving the two of them only the noise of the city.

"Will you run?" She asks him, her eyes focused on the dim yellowish-orange tone of the light from the streetlamp, and the small insects that buzz around it, blissfully. Silence prevails once again between them, as they wait for something to happen. He takes another drag off of his cigarette, as the cool night air whistles in from the barely-open window and licks at his bare chest.

"Yes." The answer comes with a lazily rolling cloud of gray smoke that fades into nothingness within seconds, though the smell of it clings to his hair, as it always has. He glances over at her, though it's impossible to tell where he's looking, watching her bare back move with every breath, the sheets slide down slightly to her hip as she turns on the stained mattress and her fingers close around the bottle. "Will you run with me?" He asks her, his lips curving into a trademark smile, humorless and cold, as she sits up and tips the bottle at her lips, the cognac burning all the way down. When the bottle droops and she takes a soft breath, she stares out at the insects again, and they fall into silence.

"Run with you?" The words form a question, and though they are quiet, he hangs on every one of them. She doesn't look at him, as he watches her back and then glances to the end of his cigarette, the end hanging heavy with black-grey ash threatening to drop to the carpet. "Where? Where will you run, Gin? To Chicago? To Russia? To the moon?"

He ponders this a moment, watching the ashes grow longer by the second. "Doesn't matter. They want me, I'll make 'em work for it." With those words, the ashes drop, bloated and heavy, to the cheap carpet beneath them. She glances back now, to watch him in the pale moonlight as he stares at the lazily turning ceiling fan, and she marvels, in a hidden manner, at his open eyes. They are a brilliant blue, and she adores them. She has never, and will never tell him this.

"You don't know where to run?"

"I don't care."

"Then why bother at all?"

The short burst of conversation is quiet, softly-spoken but terse; they have to know, they need to decide here and now. He stares at the ceiling fan a moment longer, and then meets her eyes, without his smile and with an expression so grave that it makes her want to slap him, make him smile again.

"Because I'm not gonna let them get me that easy," He tells her, point-blank. She breaks eye contact and stares out the window, this time at the pale moon, and is only slightly disappointed to see the haze of smog hanging in a thick curtain, obscuring it. After a moment, she sits up straight on the bed, as the white sheets tumble away from her and to her lap, exposing her to the pale moonlight, and Gin thinks she's beautiful. He can still smell her perfume, faintly, in the air, and it's cheap and overbearing and he loves it. He wonders if she loves how he smells like cigarettes all the time.

"You think it'll be that easy? They'll find you. They'll kill you," She tells him, her strawberry blond hair tumbling down her bare back as she sits on the edge of the mattress, back to him.

"I know," He says, and his tone is soft and cool. After a moment, she begins to pull on her pantyhose, pooled at the edge of the bed, and ignores all the little rips and tears that expose her creamy skin. Gin cocks his head, slightly, the cigarette now between his middle and forefinger and trailing smoke that curls like a serpent in the heavy air. Sometimes, he wishes that he could hold her like she deserves to be held, and tell her all the little things that she deserves to hear, and kiss her the way she deserves to be kissed. But he can't. He's not a good man, and he's not the man she deserves.

"Why did you ever want me?" He asks her now, as she pulls on her panties and clips on her bra again, the slutty black lace that she knows he adores, though he never has and never will tell her. "I'm not the man you deserve."

Rangiku looks back at him now, and her hair rolls over her shoulder like gilded silk. And though she smiles, it's hopeless and distant. "I know," She says, softly, and slides back into her blouse, a top that showed her gratuitous cleavage quite well. Soon after comes the skirt, short and black, followed by the heels. Gin watches every movement like it's going to be the last time he'll ever see her, until she finishes and he begins to dress as well. Black pants, clean white dress shirt with a black vest and black jacket over it. Rangiku grabs her purse as Gin finishes tying his tie, grabs his black fedora hat and then his black suitcase, while she glances out the window. Two black cars with tinted windows have pulled up in front of their sleazy hotel, as men dressed identically to Gin step out and load weapons.

"They're here," She tells him, urgently, as he smiles at her again and pats his hip. A metallic noise follows, a clinking far too familiar for her not to know what it is.

"Yeah. Let's go," He says to her, gesturing towards the fire escape visible out of the opposite window. Her steps are slinky, like a cat's, as she walks past him with the smell of cheap perfume and cigarette smoke and passion clinging to her, and when she passes him, Gin leans down far enough to run his face along her neck and shoulder. It's the closest to "I love you" that they'll ever share, as she stops and reaches upwards, laying her hand on his cheek for a moment, closing her eyes.

"Will we make it?" She asks him, as the footsteps come up the stairs and drift towards their room. He presses his face into her neck, inhaling deeply of her smell, everything of her.

"I don't know. But we'll try." He murmurs this into her skin, before someone bangs on the locked door and they move simultaneously, seamlessly, perfect cooperation as they move to the window. When the door comes open, Gin pushes Rangiku ahead of him and turns, aiming at his assailants, slick smile on his face and the remnants of smoke on his lips.


((A/N: This is just an introductory chapter, since I wanted to get one out. Next one, starting from when Gin and Matsumoto met. As you can probably guess, AU, with heavy noir elements, and a general 40's-50's America feel. My first attempt at writing GinRan, so...yeah. Thanks.))