Title : Tick Tock

Summary : Time goes by so slowly, but that's the way he likes it. Even after all these years. Because just every once in a while, he misses her. It's time to go back. [KxI, one hundred word drabble turned short one-shot.]


Ever absent, ever near;

Still I see thee, still I hear;

Yet I cannot reach thee, dear!

~ Francis Kazinczy


Tick tock


He realized it had been a while since he had done this: watched her sleep from the tree in her backyard.

Ichigo. Even after all of these years, her name was still like a caress to him. A breath uttered to be carried in the wind towards high heavens.

Because even after all of this time, he was still madly, deeply, irrevocably in love with her. And he couldn't help but watch her from her window because it was (used to be) the only time she would let him close. Let him near her. Let him simply breathe.

Sometimes the past was meant to be covered, buried, let go.

(But not Ichigo. Never her.)

It had been years. Tick tock went the clock, boom boom went Kish's heart, and sigh sigh went the sound of Ichigo's breathing.

000

Rose petals struck his nose the next time he visited. It was two years later. Seven years in total since the last time. He already knew his answer: Masaya.

Year after year after year… (It was never going to end, was it?)

It would always be him sneaking back on the anniversary of their alien descent, forcing him to be content with just letting her be. Your happiness is enough, his words cascaded back at him.

The night sky was his lone companion, the sounds of the evening the echoes of his heart. Come back to me, breathed the wind, please talk to me. (Enough was never enough.)

She was crying in her sleep, but he could already tell they were tears of joy and not sadness. He knew by the smile she was wearing.

It had been years. Tick tock went the clock, crash crash went Kish's heart, and drip drop went the sound of Ichigo's tears.

000

A very different sound came to his ears a few months later. A highly addictive obsession had risen within Kish once more, and he found that watching Ichigo was no longer a choice for each year or so but a frequent need. A crave. A selfish desire.

But he had never claimed to be selfless, had he? (Not once.)

A sound stirred at the edges of his heart.

Pain was what he heard. For what, Kish didn't know. He didn't even know if he wanted to know. Ichigo… If he knew what was hurting her, he could stop it! (What if…)

He nearly came in to greet her that time, to wrap her into his arms and plead, "Please don't cry, I can't bear it if you cry… Not like this, don't cry for whatever this is."

He almost did. Almost. Not quite. (Those were two of the cruelest words ever heard or uttered.) The frequency of her tears became faster. He stretched his arms out, her pain reaching towards his heart...

… And let all that he felt she was feeling out with a sigh that cut through the cracks in between her window and wall.

(He froze.)

Ichigo's head snapped up and her red-rimmed eyes gleamed. "Who's there?" she whispered, voice hoarse and throaty. The lights in her eyes were dancing.

Down below, Kish pressed his back to the trunk of the tree and held his breath for what seemed like the rest of the night. He was still frozen. (He was whatever she needed him to be.) And he knew what that was, as he couldn't bear to leave her. The ghost of a softer sigh escaped his lips.

It had been years. Tick tock went the clock, thump thump went Kish's heart, and sob sob went the sound of Ichigo's sorrow.

000

Red hair had grown long, just slightly, and thick lashes still framed compassionate brown eyes. If one thing at least never changed, she was still his Koneko-chan. And likewise, he still hers.

He could tell by the form of her figure, the way it still stretched as if protectively waiting to spring and leap and pounce. (Still his.)

Curling up in a protective yet languid stance. (Still his..)

Slight smile upon the corners of her face, fluttering eyelids. (Still his…)

Having an expression of surprise as she watched him as well. Still-

(Wait what?)

Quickly, ever so quickly, she raced to the door and unhooked the latch, throwing the curtains back and window open with a muted bang. Timidly at first but then surely, a hand reached out, her hot fingers touching his icy cold. "You're real," she breathed, amazed, with just a hint of surprise.

Tick tock went the clock, boom boom went their hearts, and grin grin went the sound of their smiles.

000

Always and forever, seemed to breathe the wind.

(Oh, how I love a happy ending.)

A window was thrown open, and a pair of arms were thrown around the smaller figure. Ichigo... He leaned down to taste her. Up in the night sky, a cat of many constellations seemed to appear smiling down upon them.

Tick tock went the clock, love love went their hearts, and kiss kiss went the sound of lover's lips meeting lover's lips.

(And they lived happily ever after).


A/N: And I'm back! :) And thank you very much for reading this!

So hey there, everybody, it's been a while huh? Since December, if I remember right? Man, time flies by so quickly! I'm sorry for such a horribly long hiatus- it really was meant to be short, but then life got crazy and hectic and you know the rest of the story.

I'll be updating sporadically. That includes hopefully steady updates of PtC: I think I owe it to you guys to finish that story, which I do consider my baby. Also, I need my daily dose of fluff-age and angst-age of KxI once again. XD I'll be answering reviews shortly, as soon as I have a chance to! I also have so many stories when it comes to PtC and explanations, so I really hope I don't disappoint you guys.

In my absense, I'd also like to give a HUGE shout-out to those who continued to review any and all of my works as well as those who continued to keep the views to my stories and profile very high, as well as continuing to favorite both myself and my pieces! Many thanks to you all!

ANYWAYS, it's been forever since I've actually written something- anything- and I totally forgot that a lot of time fics don't go the way you want them to, too. This totally didn't, for one.

First of all, THEY WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO KISS IN THE END. They were just supposed to smile. This was meant to be friendship, okay? Psh. As if. I don't think it ever turns out like that when I write for this couple, I love them so much. Besides, I can't deny Kish his Ichigo. And I still maintain the opinion that Ichigo would grow to like Kish as time goes on. Maybe because time makes the heart grow stronger? Maybe not? I don't know. You choose.

So, this was originally a hundred word drabble but soon it began succeeding a hundred words and I couldn't bear it being so short so it turned into this. :) Please fill in the time absences (or 000) however you want! You can take that when Ichigo's crying for the second time, she and Masaya broke up.

I'm in love with repetition lately, although I always have been. I think there's something so magical about that, for whatever reason. So that's why a lot of this stuff comes in threes. And why everything ends with the "tick tock…" business that the title actually helped inspire.

Another thing too, although I highly doubt anyone noticed this, I based this off the five senses. In the order used for each mini-drabble turned one-shot collection: seeing (Ichigo again), smelling (rose petals), hearing (sobs), touching (hands), tasting (lips). I noticed the weird pattern as I was going on, so I kept it going until the end. That was part of what really influenced me that they had to kiss again, haha.

Also. The parenthesis. I saw someone use that once, and I really wanted to do that in this. Not to the same effect, of course, but I rather like it. Makes things unique.

Please, any feedback is appreciated. Whether it's a favorite of any kind, author alert, or review. I especially love reviews. And PMs. (Speaking of PMs, I miss all of you who I haven't talked to in so long! Hope you're all doing well, and if you see this please drop a note by me!) I know it's been a while since I've gotten on, so just keep in mind that as always any form of support or crit is always welcome!

And... Check out my story "Pour the Champagne" if you haven't already and you're wanting a dose of KxI, PxL, and PxT! ;)

Thanks to you, the reader, for your support and all you do. Keep reading! :)

~ Bunny