So it's been a year! (PLSDONTKILLME!)

As a prize for waiting so long (since I haven't gotten the motivation to writing the next chapter yet, STILL) here's a little scene I wrote not too long ago!

So it's completely third person from Ichigo's point of view, and it starts off in a weird past tense that soon changes into present. I'm just warning you…

But what am I still doing talking? I'll see you guys at the end!

Omake: The Girl Who Was Afraid to Dream

"Even if she be not harmed, her heart may fail her in so much and so many horrors; and hereafter she may suffer-both in waking, from her nerves, and in sleep, from her dreams." -Bram Stoker, Dracula

Ichigo tended to forget sometimes, that the girl who lived in the air vent, the girl who had appeared so suddenly '(stranger to sister in one day—one!)' and who disappeared just as easily. '(It had been a week. No contact, no messages. She didn't even say goodbye. Just left, for days on end…)' Yes, it was easy for him to forget that despite the responsibility, the visions, the wise-cracks, the nonchalance…Robin was still just a child.

She wasn't even a teenager. And no matter how many times he reminded her, how many times he said it out loud '(Twelve. And a half. Almost thirteen.)' it hadn't really sunk in for the substitute soul reaper '(remembered once, but forgotten the moment she had revealed her powers; knowledge—everything.)' until she appeared in front of him that night.

She was just standing there, on the ledge outside his room, '(a blanket wrapped around her shoulders; twin daggers clutched like a different child would hold a teddy bear.)' one part cold and uncomfortable, and equal parts terrified and confused. She looked like half of her wanted to back out protect the pride she had shown him in the first few days they had met—really met—way back when Rukia was trapped and she knew the plan. '(She always knew everyone's plan.)' But the other part was what Ichigo saw as he sat up and rubbed his eyes, looking out into the late hours of the night to see a girl—a sister—lost and afraid, and awkwardly asking permission with her eyes what her pride '(that same damn pride that never seemed to go away)' would not let her say with her mouth.

So Ichigo opens the window. "What's wrong?"

Now or never, but the wall, that damn wall, it—she couldn't just—"I…can't sleep." The child manages.

"Did you have a nightmare?" Yuzu still did, Karin too—even though she'd probably never admit it.

Robin's eyes seem to glow in the night. "No, it's not that I had one, exactly. I want to sleep but…" She fidgets uncomfortably, trying to put words to her thoughts. To lay them out in a way that would make sense to someone not from her mind. "It's…I'm…afraid that I will. Have one. A nightmare. O-of what it would mean."

And in that moment, Ichigo understands.

'The pleasure of a dream is that it's a fantasy. If it happens, it was never a dream.'

Not so for Robin. Anything that she dreamed was fair game.

"Ichigo…I don't think I could handle Seeing you die. It would be my fault, and I can't…" Robin closes her eyes, and it seems as though all the broken terror flees out of her, leaving only a tired seer.

'The eyes are windows to the soul.' And without them open she was closed off to him. To the world.

"…God." Robin seems to sigh the word out, before she laughs, and her chuckle sends shivers down Ichigo's spine. It was the sound of someone tired and broken. Of someone who had gotten up again and again from what life had thrown them and was finding that their legs were finally breaking, unable to hold themselves up to the world anymore.

"I'm such a selfish person. Weak too. 'Can't' huh? Seems to be the only thing I can say these days. Can't do this, can't tell you that. Can't pull my own freaking weight in a world that doesn't even need me in it."

Ichigo knows he needs to stop this now, because she's beating herself down and she's only making it worse—"Robin," he says carefully, and the instant after he speaks she snaps her eyes open and watches him silently, no longer a tired seer; instead a frightened child. Ichigo decides he doesn't like either of them.

"Have you ever Seen me die?" He reaches, and takes one of her hands in his '(so small, a child's hand. Just a child.)' and guides her through the window as she shakes her head 'no', other hand still clutching her daggers. Ichigo wonders if she usually sleeps with them, if having them in hand helps her fend off the enemies of her dreams—of the future.

"Of course not." The girl replies, a quiet confusion in her eyes. Ichigo realizes she's almost talking to herself as she moves to lay beside him on his bed. "You're the main character, you can't die. You're not supposed to—not allowed to." She corrects herself, and Ichigo has to wonder what she means by that statement.

"Main…character?" He asks, not quite understanding.

Robin flops down next to him as he sits in bed, curling up on her side, only half awake—more like half-delirious—and nonsensical as she drifts off to sleep next to her adopted brother. But even so, she still manages to deliver to him one last piece of wisdom.

"Life's a show, Ichigo, and you're too damn important to all of ours to go dying just yet."

One time she says 'freaking' up there^^-I really feel like it should be 'f**king' but I've never used the f-word in one of my stories, and I'm not sure Robin's old enough or if it would even be in her character. I really want her to though, it just feels right. I had a blank, but FFN didn't like that, so I had to change it to freaking -.-

So…it switches to present tense about 3 paragraphs in, and even before that I feel like it's weird, but what did you guys think? Like it? This was written fairly recently, I hope you can tell that. Not that this is my new writing style (present is SO weird) I just felt like this scene demanded to be written that way. It might have had something to do with the story I was reading at the time…oh well!

Pulled a little bit of Fairy Tail in that ending line there. I truly liked the whole 'you don't die for your friends, you live for them, because the future is happier with you in it' lesson/theme that Erza learned at the Tower of Heaven…was that spoiler?

'Eyes are windows to the soul.' (or something) is an English proverb, and the dreams/fantasy quote is from the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist Anime. (I really love that quote…)