What If?

So, I thought it would be fun if you question the things that happen. Cause no matter what happens, there's always inevitably going to be that one question: What if? What if this had happened? Would this have turned out differently? What if so and so fell in love with whatshisface instead? Well, you get the idea.

What if Ichigo hadn't been able to save Rukia?

Ichigo hurried toward Sokyoku Hill. He could already feel the reiatsu from the bird forming. He wasn't going to make it.

You have to keep going! He shouted at himself. He wouldn't let Rukia be executed. He could see it at this point, a great flaming bird, wings unfurling in front of a tiny figure hanging in the air. It was still forming. He could still get there in time…

He pushed his legs to move faster and made it to the top of the hill.

"Rukia!" he shouted.

Even from the distance, Ichigo could see her dark blue-violet eyes widen in surprise. Suddenly her expression changed from surprise to something that almost looked like anger and fear.

"Go away!" she shouted back. "I told you not to come; you're just going to get yourself killed! GO HOME!"

She looked back up at the giant bird in front of her, tears falling down her face.

Ichigo watched her mouth move, but jumped into the air before he could figure out what she'd said. Just as he did so, the bird went in for the fatal strike. He held Zangetsu out as far as he could without throwing it in a mad attempt to block the bird, but it was too late. The bird was faster. Ichigo landed on the charred half of the beam, numbly taking in everything that had just happened.

He missed. He wasn't fast enough. He'd heard what must have been a loud scream of pain beneath the roaring flames. Ichigo's knees buckled underneath him and he fell to his knees with a soft huff of shock. Zangetsu fell from his loose grip, landing miles below, sticking in the ground. He'd been too late.

The image of Rukia saying something to him finally clicked in his head. He played the memory back in his head, watching her mouth form two small words that now seemed bigger than all of Soul Society.

"Good bye."

Well…that was a little morbid…oh well. The next one will be happier…probably…maybe…not likely…