Disclaimer: Bleach is Kubo Tite's. And I am not Kubo Tite. I am female, for one.
A/N Part 1: A fictional companion to Bleach Chapter 0.8, A Wonderful Error (the link is available in my profile page). You don't really need to read it to get the gist of this, but I recommend that you do, if you want to appreciate the details of this one-shot more ^^
Sunlight pricked through his eyelids at his eyeballs, like needles. That was odd in itself. Mizuiro's apartment faced the west, so sunlight only came in the afternoon. Apart from the glorious sunset view, the one advantage of his apartment was that he didn't wake up in the morning to sunlight stabbing his eyes. But maybe he had overslept big time, and slept all the way through his alarm clock and through school, until evening.
But that didn't explain why he lay on something craggy and hard. It felt like concrete.
Groggily, Mizuiro opened his eyes. Only to immediately cover them, as the sunlight hit his eyes even harder.
Squinting, he sat up slowly, and discovered that his suspicions turned out to be correct. He was lying on concrete. On the sidewalk from the way back from school, in fact. How did he end up sleeping here? Had he passed out on the way back from school? The last thing he remembered he was listening to an mp3 player… Come to think of it, why weren't his earbuds in his ears? Had they come out when he had fallen?
Mizuiro stood up and dusted himself off. He paused as he heard a distinct clank from his chest area. There was a chain attached to the center of his chest.
Then he froze.
He saw his doppelganger lying exactly from where he had just gotten up from. Upon closer inspection, he saw that it looked rather bloody. Really bloody, actually. And its limbs stuck out at odd angles.
He slapped his forehead.
"Oh. I'm dead."
Squatting beside his body, Mizuiro observed, "Hm. Judging from my placement on the side of the street, I'm the victim of a hit-and-run case."
Kojima Mizuiro. Famed playboy among older women. Dead.
The problem did not lie with his death itself. The problem was, he was very nonchalant about it all.
Maybe his death was for the better.
After all, he'd never have to see his poor excuse of a mother again. And he didn't really mind not being able to meet his older lady 'friends' anymore.
But he would miss his school friends. Keigo, Ichigo, Sado – or Chad, as the other kids liked to call him.
At the thought of his friends, Mizuiro began to saunter towards the apartment Keigo shared with his sister. Keigo and Sado would still be able to see him, so he could say goodbye when a shinigami came to get him.
But Ichigo would no longer be able to see him. He had lost his ability to see spirits after protecting Karakura a year and a half back. Mizuiro felt a little lonely at the thought of Ichigo never being able to see him again. When Mizuiro had died, so had their connection.
Ichigo, the first person he had truly been able to connect with, not counting Keigo. Though that seemed a bit unfair to Keigo; Keigo never seemed to count, somehow.
So it was Keigo he went to see first.
But when Mizuiro actually arrived at the Asanos' apartment door, he stood at a loss for what to do. If he knocked, would Keigo be able to hear? After all, he was a ghost.
He leaned back on the railing, half expecting to fall through. When he didn't, he sighed in relief. Then he proceeded to wait for what seemed like a few hours. He glanced at his watch, which read 2:34 pm. But it was almost evening. It must have stopped when he had died, Mizuiro thought absently as he looked at the setting sun. Keigo's apartment faced the west too. Why hadn't he noticed it before?
The sky had dyed itself a dark red when Mizuiro heard heavy footfalls. He looked up.
It was Keigo.
But he looked very sad. His eyes were blank, as if he'd lost something very important to him.
Keigo looked up and noticed Mizuiro. For a moment, he looked as if he didn't believe his eyes.
Mizuiro raised his hand in greeting. "Yo, Asano-san." He used the name that Keigo hated the most, just to tease him.
For once, Keigo didn't seem to mind, "Mizuiro!" He exclaimed, running towards Mizuiro like an excited puppy.
Mizuiro raised a hand in front of him and firmly squished Keigo's face, keeping him at a distance. "That won't do, Asano-san. You know I don't swing that way."
Keigo immediately became indignant. "Hey! I don't swing that way either! You know I like hot women too! This is just manly skinship! And what are you doing here - " He stopped abruptly, and a shadow cast over his face.
Mizuiro finally realized that Keigo must have found out. He scratched his head.
"So you've heard about my death, then." He was touched, really, that Keigo was truly sad about his death, considerably more so than Mizuiro himself. "Don't look so sad. I'm going to Soul Society, remember? Maybe I'll get to see Rangiku-san again~" When Keigo's face didn't brighten, Mizuiro continued, "If not, there will probably be plenty of other women there so no problem~ You should be jealous."
"You! How can you be so casual about this? For heaven's sake, you're DEAD!"
Mizuiro shrugged. He walked past Keigo, saying, "Anyways, I just wanted to say goodbye. Give my best to Sado and Ichigo for me. Maybe I'll go visit Tatsuki next."
He left Keigo staring at his back. He felt a pang in his heart for acting so callously, but this was for the best.
If a phone cord snaps, then it's better to remove it than just let it lie there, as a bitter reminder of what once had been. It was the same with relations between people. There was no point in trying to reconnect a line that just couldn't be reconnected.
Besides, he didn't want Keigo hung up over his death. After all, he was Keigo's friend, and wanted the best for him in life.
Mizuiro took a stroll, looking around at his hometown for what would be the last time.
In the end, he didn't go to see Tatsuki. She too, would just get angry at him for being so blasé about his own death.
In the end, the only person he said goodbye to was Keigo.
In the end, there were no connections left.
So Mizuiro just tucked his hands into his pockets and went to find Mr. Afro shinigami.
He wanted to get to Soul Society quickly.
Thinking back to when he had first met Ichigo, Mizuiro's mouth curved up into a smile.
New cords, new connections awaited.
A/N part 2: Just a simple one-shot that I wrote, to fill my loneliness of my other story, which is coming to an end very soon…