Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach, or any of the Bleach characters used in this fic. They all belong to Tite Kubo: the genius behind the captivating manga that started it all. I only own any of my original characters that I choose to include, as well as any of my own original plot ideas.


Prompt: Distance...

A/N: For "Kill Your OTP" on LJ.

It would be a lie to say that this had all started like one of those god-awful fairy tales that were so damned popular. Truth be told, it had been quite the opposite: Disdain, an apparent lack of proper language, and constantly running into each other at the worst of times. All of it had become a clear condradiction of the classic symptoms that made up the disease known as attraction. For most people, those with enough sanity to stem the slaughter, this kind of thing started out with all that useless, sentimental dribble.

Fortune had been kind, as the stone it had tossed had gone right over their heads.

But it had all come around the bend regardless, striking them much later than the rest of the mindless majority. It hadn't seemed quite so bad, just a hell of a lot different than anything else he'd come to understand. Speaking in terms of brain chemistry, it was all too simple. Yet, when it came to actually feeling something, that was when the panic had begun to settle in.

She'd been good enough to put up with all the excuses, the perfectly lame reasons he'd throw out there when something so trite as being "properly introduced" to her parents had completely slipped his mind. She had said that it was called prioritizing, and had thus laughed and completely ignored the fact that he'd walked right into the damned restaurant with blood on his sleeves.

For the longest time, it had all turned into a new routine, completely centering itself around whatever the hell he had the time for. Initially, he'd thought that she'd grow tired of it, only to head out and find some poor sap who would happily go along with the things that Mayuri wouldn't. To hell with dinner parties. Strangely enough, she'd stayed, never daring to snap at him about the late hour at which he'd show up. Against all warnings from friends and family alike, Retsu had gone on disregarding the number of vices that just kept growing on his end.

When he thought about it enough, it just didn't make sense now.

Deception was a simple enough thing, even moreso when conversing with idiots over the phone. They'd been asking where she'd gone, what had happened to create the rift. As if that were anyone's damned business. He'd never taken a shine to any of them, not even in the slightest. It was insanity at the breaking point, being forced to associate himself with such delerious clods. To get away from the lot of them had been the motivation. Hell, it hadn't just been them, but her, too. She'd never asked for much, having been easily appeased by having his arm to lean on. Still, what Retsu had wanted, he couldn't give. It just wasn't part of the code, the warmth that she'd craved.

It had been hell, listening to her ask questions that pertained to his difficulty with self-expression and the like. Yes, that would explain everything. It certainly explained why, for the last six weeks, everything had been nothing short of draining. Had he not been such a damned idiot, it could have worked. Now, she was free to search in vain for that perfect ending she'd craved.

If that had always been her purpose, then the distance had been there from the start.