Full summary: Every time Rukia screams, someone dies. It's what banshees do, whether they like it or not. But when the friends she grew up with since childhood begin dropping dead, it's up to her to figure out what's wrong. Not to mention she has to control the ever-growing lust for the one idiot who can help her, Ichigo Kurosaki.

Rating: M

Inspiration: Soul Screamers Series by Rachel Vincent, Slow Goodbye by Lesley Roy, the WB show Charmed, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow, FALLEN by Lauren Kate, and of course, Ayumi, Haru, Miki, and the rest of ya'll.

I don't own anything, but you guys know that, don't you?

(This takes place long before Rukia and Ichigo's timeline. You'll find out more about it later.)

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Breathe

Prologue

London, England
December 12
th, 1842

Her death cannot be avoided.

His colleague's sad voice rings through his head, haunting him. He sketches her, not the person who he's thinking of, but her, the raven haired woman who haunts his dreams, who makes him remember everything. The tears, the pain, the bitter goodbyes.

"Where'd she go?" Her voice rings clear in the room, over the crackling fire. He looks at her. She's wearing the dress her sister had bought her, black silk ribbons matching it tied into complicated weaves around her hands.

He stiffens. "Who?" He's wearing his usual work wear, a duster thrown on over it.

She laughs. A bittersweet sound to his ears. "Why, your fiancée. Or whoever you're courting," He isn't courting anyone. But she doesn't know that. She believes that he's so handsome, so wonderful, and so nice that anyone would be crazy not to love him.

"I'm not," He says, and she's shocked.

"Oh, I thought you liked her, at the very least. You know, that woman you're always with." Her voice lowers, like she's jealous. She is. But she has yet to discover their true relationship, him and this unnamed woman.

He nearly chokes on air. They aren't lovers, they aren't engaged. He wants to tell her that, but cannot come to do so. She's a friend, a comrade at best. She will never be anything more. "No," He says nonchalantly. "She doesn't like me like that." He gives no hint that the feeling is mutual, so maybe she'd leave.

She doesn't.

"I know you," She says quietly, sitting down next to him. Four weeks, she's known him. A little less than four weeks, and it's already falling apart. When he found her, he felt the strangest sensation of love and worried thoughts plagued his mind. "Before last month, I knew you."

"No," He says sternly, getting up from the green velvet chair, subsequently leaving behind his sketchbook. He refuses to believe anything she says; he just wants all of this to be one bad dream.

"You draw?" She sounds amused. Before he can take the leather-bound book, she's already looking through it, past beautifully hand drawn sketches of trees, birds, and the huskies his father owned. She stops when she reaches the latest sketch, a half finished version of herself.

She gasps lightly, touching the thick paper. He's got her down to the point, like he's known her for years, like he's been able to memorize her face in his mind, so she wouldn't need to stand in front of him, posing.

"This… oh, it's beautiful, I—"

But he's taken the book back, cutting her off. His face is set, passive. She doesn't know what's going on, and he's beginning to think she never will.

"Is something wrong?"

"No," He hears the half snarl, half choke in his voice, and sighs. "I'm sorry."

"It's fine," She's blissfully unaware, he realizes with a small glare. She keeps opening and closing her mouth, like she's contemplating on telling him something. She closes her eyes before sighing. "I've known you, not even a month. But I have to say, I love—"

"Don't you dare," His voice is rushed, harsh, but not unkind. It's an odd emotion. Like he wants to hear it, wants to hear her scream it, but can't bear the aftermath.

"I love you," She says anyway, determination in her liquid blue eyes. "I don't know why—I don't know how, even, all I know is I love you."

"You can't love," He insists, hands on her shoulders.

He feels a shiver run through her blood. "Why can't I? Are you going to tell me," She began, "that this isn't right? That you can't feel this?" She raises her hands to cup his cheek tenderly. Like she always used to do.

He can't help it; he kisses her angrily. All the emotions, all the pent-up emotions that had been building up since he's seen her last let out, and he sighs happily. "I love you, too," He says, repeating the promises and oaths he made to her, almost fifty years before.

And she's eighteen, now.

How could this be? Even he doesn't know. He hopes this is all one big nightmare, and when he wakes up, she'll be lying next to him on their bed, human, married to him, living happily ever after.

Only that will never come to be.

He can already, faintly, feel her strength fading. She whimpers slightly, not from pleasure, but rather pain. She doesn't want to let go, though. He can feel the coldness of winter wrapping around them.

This isn't supposed to happen, he thinks desperately. She finally goes limp in his arms, and he lets out a pained cry. Holds her tight, but relinquishes the kiss.

Her eyes are dull. She's still breathing, but her soul isn't there. It's gone. Lost, again.

He screams.

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(Laughs nervously) Yeah… DON'T KILL ME.

Short, yeah. I know. Okay, so this was just an idea I had for the middle of the story flashback I MIGHT use. I might not, and put in a happier middle-y end. Or maybe I'll be cruel and sadistic and do this. Or maybe I'll be weirder than normal and make something else up on the spot. You'll see.

Okay, so goodbye, luv ya, and enjoy the next chapter!

~Tsuki