life goes by in moments

Image: a school photograph, the entire class posed in rows, their hair combed and their uniform tweaked into place. Chad is at the back of the group, his height an out-of-line spike in the row. Ichigo stands in front of him, and his head is tilted at the moment of the photo, lips parted as though muttering something rude about the whole procedure to the other boy behind him. If you know him, Chad looks as if he's trying not to smile.

Image: a crime scene photograph, set under a bridge, next to the river. Chad is sitting on a broken chair, his weight balanced so that it doesn't topple over. Ichigo is swiping at Chad's face with a tissue, trying to wipe off dried blood. It isn't clear what Chad is saying, but Ichigo is obviously complaining. In the background, an ambulance.

Image: a bad photo, taken with too much sunlight in the picture and at an angle that makes it look as if a streetlamp is growing out of Chad's head. He's leaning against the streetlamp, holding a black cat in his arms, and has raised a hand to wave at whoever's taking the photo. The cat has also raised a paw; perhaps to wave at the camera, perhaps to stripe Chad's arm for lack of attention. Behind the streetlamp, clouds of dust rise from a demolished building.

Image: by the riverside, in the evening, with fireflies swirling like burning ashes over the water. Chad and Ichigo are walking away from whoever's taking the photo, side by side, leaning towards each other in casual acceptance and comfort. The backs of their heads and the set of their shoulders are relaxed and at ease. Further ahead, two little girls in kimono are just visible, their fluttering sleeves dimly-coloured in the half-light.

Image: Chad and Ichigo on the school roof. They're kissing. The photo is at an odd angle, suggesting that the person taking it was at ground level. The focus is zoomed in on their faces, leaving the rest of their bodies blurred, backed by the swirling clouds above.

Image: taken at night, with a streetlamp reflected in the window pane, and the shadow of a striped hat. The two of them lie together in Chad's bed, naked, the blankets thrown back. Ichigo is sprawled as far over the bed as a boy can manage in his sleep, arms and legs thrown out, while Chad lies on his side in a straight line against him, one arm half draped across Ichigo's back. The desk in the background is piled with textbooks. Clothes are scattered across the floor.

Image: Soul Society, a back alley. The two are approaching each other. Chad walks deliberately, while Ichigo is mid-casual-saunter, shoulders tense and nervous, eyes half-flicked down the street to make sure nobody else is there. The view is from a rooftop. Chad has one arm raised towards Ichigo.

Image: Soul Society, the gateway. Ukitake is presenting some sort of badge to Ichigo. Ichigo is thanking him for it. The others are saying goodbye to Rukia, and Orihime is handing her a dress that Ishida made for her, but Chad is watching Ichigo, huge dark eyes on him, as if he was hungry enough to eat him.

Image: Chad's bedroom, again. Chad and Ichigo are fumbling with each other on the bed, naked, flushed. The photograph is oddly clinical, taken without any real understanding or art: it records nothing except the picture of the two of them touching.

Image: Night. Ichigo standing in the doorway of his house, half-turned to shout something back at his father. His father can be seen behind Ichigo, mouth open, saying something. His expression is difficult to define, but it isn't anger. Ichigo's is. Light shows at one window: the curtains are parted at the bottom, and two small faces are looking down.

Image: Night. Ichigo and Chad by the riverside, again. Ichigo is curled up small, hugging his knees, face pressed down very tight. Chad has one arm round Ichigo's shoulders. The two figures are barely visible in the shadows between the glaring streetlamps along the bank above, only the lines of their bodies clear.

Image: Dawn. Ichigo and Chad are in the same position. The thin morning light makes the landscape bleached and barren, and the river is a pale flat piece of rippled glass. Their dark figures could be the only things in a blasted world. The streetlamp is still burning, but in the dawn light it seems brash and unreal, crumpled coloured paper dangling from black iron, a fake sun against the real day.

Image: Ichigo in mid-kick, seen in the doorway of his room. The lines of his extended leg and body are things of beauty. His father, the target of the kick, staggers backwards, still managing to hold onto the tray of food he's carrying, mouth open in complaint. One plate of toast teeters on the edge. Behind, through the doorway, Chad is curled up in Ichigo's bed, a naked shoulder showing. One eye is half open.