Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach.

Breaking out

Her back hit the wall, the force of the impact shaking the frames hung there. She gasped, and gritted her teeth. She felt the bite of his fingers, one hand gripping her hip, the other clutching her shoulder. Her heavy hakama did nothing to protect her tender skin; the warmth of his touch branded her through the heavy material.

Feelings long repressed burst at the surface, shattering her once more.

Longing.

Kami, there was so much longing.

All she could sense was him, his warmth as he stood in front of her and his hands holding on so tight, as if he feared she would disappear. She breathed in his scent, a mix of soap and his own unique smell. The smell, so familiar, slammed into her, and wrought a shudder from her body. She blinked, raising pain-filled eyes to clash with his searching gaze.

He was there.

There.

With her.

Wanting her.

He wanted her, wanted her to react to him, to give in, to give everything. How could she give him what he wanted without losing herself in the process? How could she be what he wanted her to be at this moment, without being left battered and broken?

How much more could she endure? How many more times could she survive this?

So many years spent chasing his ghost.

He was a spectre of her past, one that had left her in a cave so long ago. She had followed, unable to stay behind. She had chased him to this place, to the seireitei, and enrolled in the academy to be with him again. She had worked so hard. Yet, it had not been enough.

Even now, she continued to chase him. Sometimes he came to her, their meetings sometimes sweet, sometimes passionate. Yet, he always left her behind. Time and time she was left to stare at his back as he walked away from her. Even as she wrapped herself around him, and tried to hold on tighter, he never let her truly touch him, touch his soul.

Just like a ghost, he always slipped through her fingers.

And yet, when, after months it seemed, she started breathing easier, started not feeling cold at night, started moving forwards, thinking about maybes and possibilities, he always came back to yank her back. He always swept in, whispering sweet words and promises of pleasure. She always gave in, always let herself fall into his arms and buried the part of her that whispered that she could never truly have him. And as she knew he would, he tore open her carefully stitched heart, until it only beat for him once more, only to leave again.

The pain.

There was always so much pain; confusion, sadness, loathing, love and anger all blended into an infernal mass that threatened to choke her. It grew and grew until she drowned it into sake and flirty smiles, hiding behind a facade of irresponsibility and light heartedness.

Rangiku hissed out a breath sharply between her teeth.

The young woman clawed at his arms and then shoved him away, panting in exertion. He stumbled back. For a second, they stared at each other, chests rising and falling rapidly. His eyes pinned her in place, the red irises nearly glowing with some kind of internal light as he stared at her. She saw his eyes narrow and tensed. He stalked closer to her and grabbed hold of her arms.

She knew she would have bruises from this, but she refused to show any reaction, keeping her face blank, her gaze remote.

He shook her, and smashed her against the wall again.

For a moment, it felt like she would see stars, sharp pains pulsing along her spine, from shoulders to hips. She gasped in a breath, looking up at the ceiling in surprise. A sob nearly escaped her mouth, one filled with pain and longing.

She blinked.

No, she reminded herself.

She tightened her hands into fists.

No matter how she felt, she couldn't let herself be swayed, couldn't allow her heart to be torn open again.

Anger appeared suddenly, a wave that washed away any traces of oncoming tears.

How could he ask so much of her, and give so little? How could he so carelessly claw at her heart, enticing her to open herself whole, and then leave her behind?

Rangiku brought her gaze down to meet that of her companion and gave him a cutting glare. He did not relent, his gaze searching hers from under lowered lids. She stared hard at the man and hissed out a warning, the noise guttural as it escaped her throat.

The red-eyed man glared in answer, even as a cunning grin spread over his face. His gaze became menacing, demanding that she give in. He brushed his thumbs back and forth along the skin of her arms near her hakama sleeves, his touch gentle in comparison to his brutal hold on her.

The lieutenant arched her back off the wall and brought her hands to his wrists, trying to dislodge the man keeping her trapped. The tentative was futile, and only prompted him to further limit her capacity to move.

He pressed his hips against hers, effectively using his higher weight to pin her lower body against the wall. The familiar feeling of his hips pressing against hers, chest brushing against one another brought a powerful yearning. A low ache started in her belly even as her mind rebelled, disgusted at her weakness. Yet, even as she disdained her attraction to the silver-haired man, she couldn't help but softening, her heart aching for the man she once knew.

Had her heart been wrong all this time? Was he merely a fox, cunning and playful, toying with her? How could the person that had saved her as a child and protected her all this time not exist? How could the man that soothed had her fears and held her so tenderly not be?

She couldn't reconcile this man, the Gin in her souvenirs, with the one that pinned her right now. Nonetheless, it was him, it was his body, his smell and his voice. It was him, but not him. This wasn't the man she missed as she went to bed at night, not the man she ached to talk to when she needed a shoulder to cry on.

Had she imagined the tender, caring man she had fallen in love with?

He ran his hands up her arms, thumbs skimming over her breasts, the touch teasing and intimate.

The young woman hissed at him again and buckled against his hold, trying to escape her captor. She brought her hands up to push at his shoulder and neck futilely.

He only smiled wider. He knew she would not use her strength against him. His hands brushed over her neck and higher, to clutch at her hair. He pulled sharply on the honey-coloured strands, forcing her to tilt her head back with a gasp. A soft moan escaped him, one that was filled with lust and triumph.

Rangiku tilted her head to the side even as anger tightened her jaw. She pressed her lips in a firm line, nearly making the pink flesh turn white. She refused to indulge the man, to answer to his behaviour. She couldn't let him do this to her. This time she wouldn't give in, wouldn't let him have her heart.

He nipped at the flesh, pulling at her lower lip with sharp teeth. The young woman jerked back from the playful bites. Blood swelled at the surface of her lip, prompting her to tongue the cut. She tasted iron and felt a distinctive sting as saliva touched the wound. Looking up at the man keeping her pinned, she met red-coloured eyes, ones that watched her raptly, ones that were filled with demand and longing.

Keeping her gaze, the man leaned forward and licked at her cut. She resisted the urge to flinch at the touch, torn between desire and revulsion. The man smiled against her lips and slanted his mouth over hers.

She parted her lips underneath his, and licked at his lips, teasingly brushing her tongue along the sensitive flesh. For a moment, her body sang, chills breaking out over her skin at the pleasurable sensation of tasting his mouth again. Even as she let herself enjoy the kiss, she knew of the consequences, of how such a small act could create a breach inside of her resolve that would need to be fixed.

As her lover relaxed against her form, she moved her tongue to tangle with his, stroking against it and then retreating teasingly. Her lower body pulsed at the familiar sensation, but she refused to indulge, refused to allow herself to even entertain the thought of how much pleasure he could give her.

Gin let out a strangled groan and chased her retreating tongue in order to continue the kiss. She bit at the appendage. The man pulled back with a growl, tightening his hand in her hair until she felt strands being pulled out of her scalp.

She clenched her jaw, refusing to let out any noise of pain. She noted with satisfaction the blood on the edge of his mouth.

She would not be the only one to bleed. This time she wouldn't let him inside. This time, he would be the one left chasing a ghost. This time, he too, would feel pain.

The man let go of her hair to grasp at her shoulders and turned her around sharply, pressing her up against the wall once more.

Her cheek touched the cold plaster. The cold permeated through her clothing, a sharp contrast against the warm body blanketing her back.

He firmly took hold of her hands and brought them beside her head. Her palms were pressed flat against the wall forcefully. She dug her fingernails into the plaster, and felt paint flake off.

A distinctively male form pressed against her back as the man breathed out warmly in her ear. She gasped, shivers racing over her form. Her eyes closed involuntarily.

Tears prickled at her eyes underneath her closed eyelids.

The man brushed his lips softly against the shell of ear, then lower, ghosting against the sensitive skin of her neck. He pressed his hips gently against her body, letting her feel the beginning of his arousal. She took in a deep breath to calm herself, her treacherous body warming at the dual sensations. Velvet lips brushed against the back of her neck, his warm breath teasing goosebumps out of her skin.

A sharp bite.

Rangiku cried out, throwing her head back. The man tightened his hold on her wrists, keeping her hands pinned to the wall.

A soothing suck.

She let herself fall limp, all anger drained from her body.

Too much time spent apart, so little conversations. Where was he, when she needed him? Why did she have to chase his ghost? Why couldn't he give her what he so despairingly tried to keep? Why couldn't he love her as she did him? Why couldn't he simply let her see, let her inside so she could touch him the way he did her? Why did she have to bare her soul, to give everything, and be left bereft?

"Is this all we are, Gin?" She whispered, her head lolling on his shoulder.

"When did it become about pain?" The young woman breathed out. Tears stung at her eyes.

There was a canyon between them, stretches of silence and secrets. She had walked the desert it represented for years, trying to breach the distance. Like Sisyphus, she was condemned to repeat the action again and again. No matter what she did, it was never enough.

There was no end to this.

Warm droplets ran down her cheeks, creating salty trails against her skin. She licked her lips and tasted sadness.

The man behind her let go of her wrists to wrap his arms around her waist, tightening his hold until it was nearly painful. She felt his soft hair brush against her temple as he put his chin on her shoulder. She felt him shudder as he held her, face buried in her hair and neck.

"I'm sorry, Rangiku-chan." The young woman gasped in a choked breath, blinking in the semi-darkness at the muffled words.

"I can't let you go..." The words were spoken lowly and hoarsely near her ear. She felt herself being lifted up suddenly, the world spinning on its axis, until she realised that she was in his arms, being carried to her bedroom.

A sob wracked her body.

The end.

So this takes place before the beginning of the series.

It was my first time writing a Bleach fiction. My muse is the one that whipped me in this direction, even as I tried very hard not to.

Ironically, this was written while listening to Walking Away, by Smile Empty Soul. This is also where the title comes from, as the song is about walking away from a lover, or breaking out from their hold, so to speak. In this case tho, it seems Rangiku wasn't able to break out.

So, I hope that you enjoyed. Any feedback would be appreciated, especially regarding my form as English isn't my first language, as well as my grasp of the characters' personalities.