Author's Note: I was listening to the Battlestar Galactica Soundtrack last night as I was trying to fall asleep, and was inspired to write this. So naturally, I got out of bed and wrote this. Now I have to work at 8AM and I'm exhausted. haha. Anyway, here it is.


He had told her once, that one never truly understands the value of what they have until it is taken from them. He had been drunk at the time, so she had ignored him for the most part and threatened to do terrible things to him if he was late because of a hang-over the next day.

But she's stone sober now, and she finds herself repeating the words.

Her captain's desk is empty, which is not uncommon, but the roof is barren of napping shinigami, as are his favorite cherry trees, and his house, and the garden outside her window, where sometimes he fell asleep after hours of trying to get her to listen to his serenade.

He had made a big fuss about leaving her, suggested she should have good-bye sex with him, because it may be her last chance. She's sure he saw the book she hurled at him coming from a mile away, but he let it hit him anyway. He played fair like that; just because he could dodge it didn't mean he didn't deserve to be punished.

He settled for a good-bye kiss.

Of course, he let her hit him with her fan moments after the goo she used to call brains was able to formulate a thought other than "Hnnnggg", and accepted her detailed rant about professionalism and how that had been an example of how not to act as Captain and Lieutenant.

He accused her of liking it, and pulled rank before she could lie.

She licks her lips, and wishes she had let him do it again.

The winter wind is cold.

She misses him.

He will laugh at her when she tells him, and she hopes he will kiss her again, because she didn't know just what she had until it was taken from her, and she wishes their last, good-bye kiss hadn't also been their first.

He asked her to wait for him; that he would return with the spring, to bring flowers to the dank landscape of a wind-swept March. He told her to keep a close eye on Seireitei, and an even closer one on the sky.

So she climbs to the rooftop, and she lies down on the tiles. The winter wind is cold, and she doesn't know what she is looking for in all that blue, but she does the same every day until she thinks she finds what she's been searching for.

She's nodded off; she couldn't help it. The sun is warm for the first day in weeks, and her mind is weary of weaving stories of dread, so she closes her eyes for a moment and dreams of her captain, safe and sound, back again where she can watch over him; where she can reach to touch, to hold, to kiss him.

She can't say the feelings are new. They are old and strong and fortified, but they mean something different, something more now that he isn't a constant figure in her daily life; now that there is a potential for change in their steady, careful, day to day dance.

She hates what he does to her.

She hates more what he doesn't do to her. The wind whistles through barren branches.

Something delicate and small on her face teases her out of sleep, and she moves to swat at it, but it dodges.

She opens her eyes and looks to the sky.

The dark wings of a Hell Butterfly flap furiously at her from overhead. The sky is blue beyond it; the sun hurts her eyes.

She runs.

The waning winter winds are behind her; the hell butterfly is valiantly keeping up, its mission incomplete; its message not relayed.

She makes it to the first division, and stops. The wind of changing seasons blows on, with it, her hair and robes try to carry on without her.

But she is frozen, like ice in December.

The first of the Fourth Division squads are just arriving. Familiar faces are being taken away on stretchers, some, who can walk, are assisted by healers, others, who can't, are being treated where they fall.

People push past her, move around her; they know better than to ask what she is looking for.

Her eyelids fall, and she opens them slowly, hoping it is a dream; daring to wish she was still asleep on the roof, and that when she awakens, he will be lying there beside her.

Belatedly, she hears words, and she realizes she is being addressed.

Unohana-taichou looks tired and worn, but her features are soft. Extensive injuries. Found drained of most reiatsu. Responded well to treatment. Great deal of hope. Strong shinigami. Be patient. Wait for him.

She thinks it is entirely unfair that a first kiss must also be a last kiss.

An only kiss.

The barrenness of winter drags on. Nanao looks to the sky, and sees snow.

A goodbye kiss.