The Door in the Air

Ichigo/Byakuya

Iorekbyrnison

I caught myself reaching out for you today. I am in the real world. The room is dark and your picture sit on the stand beside my bed. It's the only one I have of you, taken by your sister. You stand there taller than me a wisp of smile tucked away in your ever present frown. I have two hours until sun rise but the horrors in my dreams beckon me to wake and that incessant hollow never stops laughing anymore.

I think I might be going crazy after all this time. My fingers reach and reach, but they never feel the silk of your hair or the cloth of your scarf. What use are these callouses, these scars if I can't brush them against your skin?

I bathed in your blood that day and since then I can't keep clean. At night after they've gone to bed I draw a bath. The water is too hot, my skin burns and I imagine it curling up from my bones and disintegrating, washing away my sins like the rain washed away your soul. I feel the tears beneath my eyelids, but they never fall. After all the lessons I've learned, all the abilities I've mastered, crying was never something I could do. The only person I ever cried for was my mother and as much as I love you I can't cry for you. All my tears were spent on her.

They look at me in class. My friends, they mourn me, who I was that died with you, but they could never mourn as hard as I. They could never feel that deep heartache that makes me want to kill myself and heal myself at the same time. If I died I would have a chance of erasing this pain and if I healed I could protect them from what happened to you.

The war is over. Did you know, floating up there in the cauldron of souls? You are slated for reincarnation. I'm not sure how that works since you were born a noble in the Seretei. How could you be reincarnated if you never technically lived in the first place? Either way I won't find you for a long time. We might as well have said our goodbyes that day as I held your dying body on the battlefield, as the hollow within me screamed for vengeance and Aizen laughed in glee, but I couldn't say goodbye that day and I can't lie enough to say goodbye to you even now. My love is utterly connected to your soul. Maybe that is why it bounces and dips making my heart flutter in my chest and my face seize in pain. Is my soul unconsciously looking for yours, wishing and hoping to bask in your essence? It's not possible anymore. When I die I will become a Shinigami and then you will have already been born into the living world. I will have no contact with you and you will not remember me. Is that our fate?

You didn't have high hopes for me when this began. You thought I was impetuous and horny and only went through with the physical aspects of our relationship. When did it become more than sex for you? It was always more for me, always more the than the bristling pain that gave way to mind numbing pleasure each and every time. Even then I yearned for you to look at me as I was, for who I was rather than just a body or the best friend of the sister you deeply needed to protect.

The door to you is in the air now, a ridiculous place for it to be; too high for me to reach, no steps to get there, and too high for anyone to get out. The sky separates us and it is torture to realize that even though the space between us is clear, I can never see far enough to look upon you, never jump high enough or run hard enough to reach the place you are.

Urahara became involved yesterday. I must be slipping for even him to worry. He said my reiatsu is out of control. He said I should forget you in such a way that I think he means to take action, to make me forget before I actually do kill myself or maybe someone else. I stared at him then, blankly I know. I have as much trouble expressing myself these days as I did when you were alive. He was unnerved by it. I've never seen him so nervous about something. He called Isshin to collect me like I was some wayward child, but I left before he ever even came back in the room. I sat at the place my mother died, the place where she gave her life for a worthless soul like mine until Karin found me and sat with her hand in mine. She understood even if she didn't know the pain. She knew I missed your warmth and she let me be without a concerned stare or ulterior motives.

It hurts all the time. Even now, after so many years, the pain is just as fresh, just as raw as the day you left me. I tried so many things to make it go away. I killed Aizen. I helped rebuild the Seretei. I trained, I fought, I tried so very hard to slip back into my human life, but it was all useless. The pain was like high tide that came swiftly, silently onto the beach drowning me as I lay there too panicked to act, too selfish to want to live. You, I know, would be disgusted in this version of me. You would scowl at me then beat me into the ground with your deadly aristocratic features. You would knock the sense back into me and then rebuild me with skilled, slim hands; touching me in places I would never ever allow anyone to touch me ever again.

Isshin stays up at night. He mourns his wife as I do you. I wonder if that is to be what my life consists of. Will I mourn my lover for the rest of time like my father before me? He, at least, picked up the shambles that was his heart and had enough of the broken pieces left to love his children, to protect them from the dangers he knew the future would hold. I have enough left in me, I know, to do the same. I always left places for my friends and family in my heart, but so much of them is eclipsed my you that it is increasingly difficult to find the pieces of me that aren't tainted by the love we held, pieces that hurt more to leave on the ground than pick up and shove back into the hollowness of my chest.

Rukia visits sometimes, but I can see her own sadness festering behind her bright blue eyes. Renji is always with her these days. You would be so pissed I'm sure. It's nice to think of how many ways you could torture the red haired shinigami for touching your precious sister. That feels normal, like how the world used to be before I cut myself off from it. It's a bad idea, these days, to place Rukia and myself together. We love each other, that's true, but the both of us still miss you more than is healthy. Renji tries to temper Rukia, to give her something to grasp onto, but Rukia feels that I need an anchor most of all and that she must be the one for the job. It's a sad day when we both go floating up into our respective miseries because then we both know that I can't break free and she's not strong enough to hold me from my thoughts of you.

Tonight I reach for you and I try to remember what it felt like to run my fingers through your hair. Even those thoughts send a delicious pleasure through my bones. I'm deluding myself with such fantasies, but it is the only way I seem to keep from losing my already tenuous hold on reality. Visions of you give me hope that we will find each other; that you will remember me and I will stand by your side. I need that hope to go on for now. I need that hope to function as a person. Maybe, much later in life I might be able to walk without you as my crutch. Until then I need this. I need you.

I need you so very much Byakuya Kuchiki.

-AN: Man all I seem to be able to write for BLEACH is melancholic stuff huh? I hope you guys like this!

Read and Review! Until next time.