The Diary

I just can't seem to smile anymore. All the things that are going on... It's all just too much for me.

She couldn't believe what she was reading. But there it was, in his hand writing.

I don't know how much more I can take. I found my dad's drugs hiding in the shadows of his room this afternoon. I knew he had used them when I was very young, before Yuzu and Karin were born, but he told me he stopped.

The words before her made her heart clench and her throat close up, almost as if there was someone in front of her grasping her neck with a thick leather glove.

She really had no idea.

Sometimes I can hear the pipe at night, through the walls. It sounds as though someone is drowning in a thick, muddy puddle of water.

She remembered that sound. She too had heard it through the late hours of night, but she really had no idea what it was. Her knowledge on drugs didn't stretch very far...

Then there is school. I was beaten up again yesterday. I just want it all to stop. I want people to stop protecting me.

Maybe I should just save the misery and dye my hair black.

It wouldn't sound like much, if it were anyone else reading this, bur Rukia knew him well - like no one else. But he never told her about this. When she asked about the buses, he shrugged and said he fell down a flight of stairs. But it all made some sense now. The things he said in here made him sound weak and full of emotion - which was a side of him that had been unnoticeable covered all this time. This did not sound at all like him.

She placed the book on her lap and relaxed her eyes, spacing out so she may think clearly. But something on the page caught her eye - her name.

But then there's Rukia...

She heard the bedroom door handle rattle and click, and before she even had a chance to think properly about her next plan of action, she bolted. Jumping straight out the window.

With his diary clenched in her hand.

He walked inside his room, quickly noticing the cool breeze that flowed through his window, making the curtains dance and hover.

He sat back down to finish what he was writing, but found no book sitting on his desk. He imediently went into a state of panic. Had his father found it? Had his sisters found it?

Or had Rukia found it?

He noticed something beside the end of his bed - her shoes. They weren't there before. She had been here, no doubt. He ran down stairs as fast as he could and grabbed his coat.

She began to slow down. She thought she was a fair distance away now, he wouldn't be able to find her anyway.

Her pace was slow but he thoughts ran fast. She just couldn't believe what was in that book. He must have been the bravest man she knew - but that came as no surprise to her.

She scanned over past entries. It seemed like there was no positive light anywhere in this notebook. It was like a story with no conclusion. No hero to come save the day.

She flicked back to the most recent entry, to where she saw her name. But, that was all it said.

What where his thoughts on her?

She wondered if maybe, as it seemed so far in this book, he was only going to fill in a new rant about another horrible aspect of his life. Was she apart of that life? The one drowning in thick nothingness? This life, his life, was so new and scary for her. Was it better she gone?

''Rukia!'' she heard come from behind.

She bolted.

He noticed her distressed expression, and saw the diary limp in her hand.

Shit.

''Rukia!'' he ran after her.

She didn't know what she was doing. She didn't know why she was running away. She felt hurt that he had included her in his ''book of depression'' but she wasn't so hurt that she didn't want to talk to him. His voice didn't sound mad... It sounded... Scared. She didn't know why. But what did she know anymore?

She ran around corners of shops, behind benches and cars, there were no people around due to the late hour, only her and Ichigo - and he followed her every step of the way.

Finally, she was stopped. Stuck between walls with no where else to go but towards him.

He looked at her. His face scared of the things she knew. He wrote in that diary so he could calm himself down, and so in years to come he would remember all this. The things that went on in his life. His father told him that he had forgotten his past. He told him he would go to bed every night trying to remember, but it was like trying to catch a train that never stopped. So, he made a diary. In fear that he too might miss his train.

She pushed he back up against the back ally wall, her chest heaving and sweat spread across her face. Her look was hard, but her heart was not.

No one said anything.

Rukia straightened her back, and the cold look in her dark eyes shone with tears she wouldn't let fall.

''Ichigo...'' she whispered softly.

''How much did you read?'' he said bluntly.

''Enough.''

He looked at her, and he could tell she knew everything.

He sighed and sat down, leaning his back against the side wall.

''I'm sorry... Rukia...'' She looked at him, confused. Why the apology?

''Ichigo...''

''I was afraid... Afraid of letting anyone else know about my feelings... I don't like people thinking I'm weak. Sometimes sharing you emotions only starts trouble...''

Rukia paused. She understood.

She had to admit to herself, that although it sounded strange... She felt the same way.

''Ichigo... I'm sorry if I've been a burden to you. I don't mean to-''

''What are you talking about?''

Rukia held out the open diary, revealing her name.

''You were about to write about me...''

Ichigo looked at her for a moment, and stood up. He reached out his hand to grab the book, but gave Rukia a fright when he grabbed her wrist instead.

He grinned, and leaned in, brushing his lips on hers - with a sneaky grin.

He pulled away, and whispered in her ear. His breath made the hairs on the back of her neck stand up, and her knees shake uncontrollably.

Get a hold of yourself, Rukia...

''You didn't let me finish.'' his husky voice drove her mad - but she would never admit it. ''You're the only thing that keeps me going...''

Her eyes widened, and there was a lingering silence. She moved closer, and nuzzled her nose into his neck. It was warm. It made her smile.

''Thanks to you, Rukia... The rain has stopped.''

`3rooke.