bleach © tite kubo.
note #1: to my beloved annie.

— swallow all the stars in the sky


She's beautiful. She recognises her own loveliness - the hills and rivers of her body, the tilt of her mouth, her long hair. Something savage about the valley between her breasts, like forbidden land. The sway of her hips as she walks.

When she's beside Gin, Rangiku feels ugly.

(Rangiku, don't cry.)

To her he's—

Loving is dangerous, Rangiku learns, because love eats you whole and spits you out empty. Love enters without knocking and then leaves you asleep in a cold bed, and you see the missing pair of shoes and want to cry because you're all alone. It's for you, Rangiku, he says, and he's such a bastard. A betrayer, Rangiku thinks, except no because she can't bear to think about him like that, Gin, fucking deranged and wholly alive and adoring her with that mouth full of silver knives.

She loves that smile.

(... change things, so they'll end without Rangiku having to cry.)

But don't you see, she thinks. Don't you see, Gin? He's always leaving her behind, trying to (to what?)—and she gets lonely. Lonely down to her soul. Her Captain understands, because Hinamori-chan doesn't walk in his shadow (following someone else, don't you know what you're doing, what you're throwing away, can't you see). Rangiku loves Gin's smile, even when others whisper. Off-putting, malicious, petty.

She doesn't lie to herself and pretends she sees only kindness. But there is something that could be steady enough to hold onto, if he would just—

Gin, Rangiku closes her eyes and imagines him, holds the heat of anger and love and everything low in her belly, Gin, do you know what I feel when I say your name? Do you know what I feel when I see you walking away?

"It would have been nice if my capture lasted a little longer. Farewell—"

Don't say it, she thinks. Doesn't want to look at herself, think about herself. Uglier than ever.


Gin, I— "Sorry." There's something sorrowful about his parting smile. And she has to close her eyes, remembering the thoughtful, sharp boy she once—she still—

She doesn't look up as he leaves.

(I can't follow you this time.)