Title: Waiting Blues

Author: Nebiru (ex-Kizune)

Pairing: ShunUki – and, yes, this is yaoi, so beware.

Genre: AU, Angst, Romance

Raiting: PG-13

Disclaimer: I own nothing, except the arrangement of words.)

Summary: He would always be there, waiting for someone… someone who, in the end, never came.

Author's comments: Ah, I think I've started nice, but lost smth along the way. I really like the first half of it, but the second one seems weaker. And I would've preferred it the other way round. Anyway, my head hurts and I think I'll be dreaming in English again from 5 hours of non-stop writing. It's strange, but I don't want to write anything in my own language lately. Also, have to warn you – this is just a simple sketch and - an AU, and I'm head over heels in love with AUs, and most of my Bleach fiction is (you won't see it for a loooong time, until manage to translate it) AUs, so no complains, okay?

p.s. Past tense is a bitch – remind me to never use it again. It has some charm, but my Bleach style demands the present – easier to translate the emotions, I think. Read slowly.

I will not die, I'll wait here for you.

I feel alive, when you're beside me.

I will not die, I'll wait here for you

In my time of dying. © "I will not die" by Three Days Grace

He would always be there. Whether the rainstorm was raging or heat was melting the ground or deep piles of snow covered the earth – he would always stand there at the entrance of the park for several hours, grey curtain of hair falling down the fragile shoulders with that awfully stubborn look in the magnificently hazel eyes, ignoring the sun, ignoring the rain, ignoring the terrible coughs, rocking his thin body. As if waiting for someone… someone who, in the end, never came.

And every Saturday evening I would take a cup of coffee, sit silently on my windowsill after work and sip the hot drink, watching him until the night descended and he would be gone.

And thus it would continue for several years, but… he never cried. His bitter, too sad parody of a smile always hiding all the tears that should have been shed long ago.

Until one day I couldn't take it anymore.

It was the autumn burning the ground with violent yellow and red flames, when I went down the stairs, crossed the deserted road and froze right in front of his nose.

- Yo there, handsome! – I said.

What a face he had! Hopeful - for a minute - before the realization downed on him that I was not who he was waiting for, then – sad, and then – then finally his too pale from the illness cheeks flared, and he made a small step back.

- S-sorry? How can I help you?

He had a pleasant voice, a little bit hoarse from the constant coughing – but it was just like I imagined it would be, and I beamed.

- Marry me, - I joked, and there was such a cute blush on his face in response that I had to stifle a laugh.

- Huh? – was all he could say, and the way he hid his trembling - either from cold or weakness - hands in the pockets of his long white coat, forced me to back down a little.

- Joking, just joking, ahaha. But a cup of tea in your company does really sound nice. What do you think about it?

And, oh, but I expected it, of course he said "no". He would always say "no" - along with a horde of lame excuses, awkward "sorry"s and bowing in respect.

God knows how many times I had to walk up to him. I think it was about midwinter when I finally managed to get a wishful "all right" in response.

Snow was falling everywhere - white cold dancing on the wind - and there he stood – too tired to argue, coughing with blood, barely able to stay upright. So close, but yet so far.

- You stubborn little fool, let's do it this way then, - I suggested, - There is a café on the other side of the road, and we'll just choose the table near the window, so you can watch the… nearby territory all you want.

- Kyouraku… - sure, he already knew my name by then, and I awaited silently his decision, noticing how much the ugly frown corrupted the perfect traits of his beautiful face. He was reluctant to go. But the weather played on my side that day, and victory was mine.

Inside the warmth of the café he let the winter coat slide off his shoulders and for the first time I could look more closely at that fragile body of his. He was too thin – even in his warm blue sweater, and I desperately wanted to take his trembling fingers, holding a cup of tea, in my hand. But I could not.

We sat there for a couple of hours in a pure silence and, of course, his gaze never left the entrance of the park.

He would always stare out of the window, and if the blizzard was blocking his view, he would never agree to go with me.

It saddened me and it angered me. How could the one he was waiting for never come? How could that someone deny the happiness of this beautiful man? How many more years should pass like this? Was Juushirou that unfortunate to wait… forever?

If I could have a say in it, I would've already done something. But he never told me the whole story, ignoring my prying hints and direct questions. Though the way he smiled to his own memories at those times told me everything I needed to know.

It must have been love.

So what was left to me at those days, when the stinging bites of winter winds wished to gobble down the humankind and his illness – to gobble up his lungs, other then staying together with him and trying to shield him somehow from the wind?

He would always scold me and try to send me back home when I appeared out of the screen of snow with a colorful rug.

- Why are you doing this, Shunsui? – he would ask, head lowered and lips trembling from cold.

- I can't leave such a beauty alone in this weather, now can I? - I would always say and pull him closer, throwing the rug over his shoulders.

And then there would be something strange in the way he looked at me – in his kind eyes, the way his hand would grip the colorful fabric and the way he'd quietly say "bye" before going home. And always – always – I had to stop myself from kissing him, to force the raging desire, the yearning, back.

And it would always be like that with him, until…

Until one day I couldn't come.

It was an accident, really. Some idiot didn't notice the red light because of the bad weather, and I ended up at hospital with several serious injuries. And it would have been okay, but the whole half of a year had passed before I managed to get out of the hospital bed.

It was midsummer when I saw him again out of my window at the usual spot and, still limping, I went down the stairs, wondering whether he had been worried about me or not, cursing myself for not persuading him to give me his telephone number earlier. I wanted to see his sad smile, wanted to fold him in my arms – even if only for a moment, I wanted to… I never crossed the road.

Sure, Juu was here… but someone else was too. Someone who took Juu's hand in his and led him away. Someone who outran me for just a couple of minutes.

And I watched them as they walked away, wanting nothing more than to follow them and take Juu away.

Because he was mine. It was I who came to him first. It was I who helped him to get through the hardest evenings. It was I who made him smile at least a little bit with silly jokes and lazy talks. Surely it was I who deserved to hold his thin fingers in the palm of my hand, and not that… someone.

And it took all my willpower to force myself to stay still, to go back home… Tired. And angry. And infinitely bitter.

What that day took away from me – can't be told in words. What I was going to do from now on – I didn't know. There was only emptiness deep inside me and so much pain that I had to wonder when did that traitorous moment of falling in love come.

Before I knew it the week had passed. It was with some trepidation that I approached the window. The sun was slowly setting on a bloody red sky, the green foliage of the trees was whispering its never-ending rustling song, people were passing by, laughing and smiling, enjoying the coolness of a summer evening. Everything was the same as ever. But he was not there.

He was not there, and I grabbed the bottle of sake out of the fridge with a strong desire to drink myself to death, thinking I would never see him again.

An hour later the doorbell rang, and, Gods, what a face I had when I saw him on my doorstep. I must have looked pretty dumbfounded, because he smiled – in such a bright way that I forgot my own name for a second.

- Um, - he said, - Sorry, had to ask several people around here whether they knew you… your neighbors were… Ah, can I… come in?

- S-Sure, - I managed to utter, wondering whether I was dreaming or not.

He came in and froze in the middle of my living room and from there watched, frowning, as I limped towards him.

- I wanted to ask you if I did something wrong that made you stop… seeing me, but your leg… Did something happen?

And so I poured him some sake and we sat at the table and I told him everything about the accident. And then he was silent for so long I began to fear he was just an illusion. So when he reached out for me with his hand, and his fingers slid over mine all I could do was – stare at his reddening face. He looked away in shame, but I should have really said something, because next moment he snatched his hand away, grabbed his jean jacket and jumped to his feet.

- I'm… sorry… I should go, - he said, voice low and almost broken. As if he… As if he really…

- No, don't.

I didn't think – just stood up with lightning speed and took him by the shoulders. And there it was – that look in his eyes whenever I did something good for him. Fathomless warmth mixed with the fear of believing, the fear of betrayal, the fear of losing again.

- You know… he came last week… - he whispered suddenly, hands sliding down my chest - Not really "came" though. Turned out - he was just passing by. Funny, isn't it?

There was nothing funny in that, but I remained silent and listened further, allowing the tips of my fingers to travel down his neck.

- Despite everything… he took my hand and led me to a nearby restaurant and you know what, Shunsui? Every minute while I sat there, listening to his pointless rambling about everything and nothing… every goddamn minute I was wondering… whether you came today or you didn't.

- Juu…

- And it really was a surprise. Honestly. When you stopped coming, I knew I wanted to see you, but… I never realized until that moment, that for the last half of the year I was waiting… for you. And only you.

Before this day I would always forbid myself, I would always be left unsatisfied – wanting and needing and aching for him, but, God, thankfully, not today.

Because when I lowered my head, he leant closer and melted into my kiss and let my hands roam his body and stopped me only once.

- One more thing, Shunsui… My illness… I want you to know that…

- It doesn't matter, - I told him, - Even if you'll die tomorrow, I won't have any regrets about this. So how about sending it all to hell and enjoying ourselves while we can, huh?

- Idiot, - he said, kissing along my unshaved chin, and, finally, quietly added, - Okay.

w\n: 16-17.11.10