Pigeon Ruby

A Bleach fanfiction by Monsignor

They were in the middle of drinking too much when Renji looked at him and asked, "Do you know that I love her too?"

Ichigo pulled his gaze down from the ceiling, where it had somehow wandered on it's own ('cause there was really nothing to look at on his ceiling), and looked Renji in the eye. "Guessed," he said.

Renji groaned and put a hand to his head, half-empty bottle of Pigeon Ruby dangling from his fingers.

Ichigo watched him warily; he didn't want whiskey spilled all over his carpet. And he was half-anticipating the other man to propose a duel for Rukia's hand or something else likewise and stupidly honorable. But Renji was a warrior, and had enough strength in just those fingertips to hang on to the bottle. And he was too drunk to even unsheathe Zabimaru, let alone fight Ichigo.

Thankfully Renji knew this. Ichigo wanted blood on the carpet even less than he wanted whiskey.

"I'm so stupid!" the redhead said too loudly. "If you noticed, then it must've been obvious as hell."

"Yeah," Ichigo said helpfully, latching onto the past tense eagerly, "it really was."

Renji groaned again, and lifted the bottle to his lips. He drained what was left in a few deep swallows and brought it back down with a horrific grimace. "Shit!" he said feelingly. "That means Rukia…"

There wasn't quite enough alcohol in him to finish that sentence, Ichigo could tell.

An awkward silence fell between them. Renji put his hand over his eyes again.

Ichigo reached over to the box beside the coffee table and picked up another bottle. He held it out to Renji by the neck. "She changed my fate," he said. His words were heavy and soft in the silence. True.

Renji hesitated, the expression on his face dark and unhappy. Then he sighed gustily and reached out and grabbed the bottle from Ichigo's hand.

He popped the cap with a savage twist and lifted it in Ichigo's direction. "Cheers," he said quietly.

Ichigo nodded and held up his own bottle. "Cheers."

They drank.

(Pigeon Ruby is the name of the alcohol that Renji, Ichigo, Hitsugaya and Urahara are drinking in the cover for chapter 293. Winged Eagles. The one where Ichigo's wearing a cravat and looks like Lestat. I decided that it was whiskey arbitrarily; I imagine most of the cast liking something with some kick to it. Hanataro probably drinks milk, though. And Yuzu. Karin, on the other hand, has probably been a hard drinker since the tender age of ten.)

Thanks for reading!