The Raven - 11

We both got off the train as soon as the vehicle came to a stop. We were quiet as we made our way outside the station. Ichigo stayed close to me. So close that I could feel the heat from his body envelope me. The air is chilled outside and I can smell snow in the air. It's going to be a long winter. I'm trying to remember what I would use to cover the window when I feel Ichigo use his fingertips to tilt my head to him. I stare at him, wide-eyed in surprise. There were not many people around us, the crowd of arrivals had dispersed not too long after the train had arrived, but still. Showing affection in public, with a whore, wasn't unusual but with Ichigo it was uncalled for. But what made my heart stuck in my throat wasn't at the prospect of being seen, but the look in his eyes.

What was it? Gentle?...Endearing?... Whatever it was, it had his eyes twinkling with something that made my knees weak. He leans foreward, my breath catches. His eyes are on mine, gauging my reaction as he inches foreward towards my lips. I want to pull away. More than anything. Atleast that's what my mind tells me, my heart and my body have different ideas as he closes the distance and I don't move away and, instead, kiss him back. His lips are gentle against mine, soft and I almost swoon. The kiss is chaste and innocent. I don't feel his tongue ask for entrance or his hands groping me. Just a gentle press on lips, his fingertips growing warm on my chin. That's all it is but it has me seeing stars behind my closed eyelids and making my heart beat faster then horse hooves.

This is a bad idea. I can't help but think. I should leave him alone, leave him be. He has a life to live, a life with his future wife and family. My eyes sting. We've always been a bad idea.

I pull away first, my breath creating smoke from the cold air. He leans his forehead against mine and I look to the hollow between his collar bones. I can see it pulse with every beat of his heart. I reach my finger up and place it against the hollow, closing my eyes and feeling the erratic beating of his heart, keeping him alive and here, with me.

I smile at that.

I pull away. "Go home Ichigo."

I don't see the look on his face before I turn and walk away. Back to my world.

I feel I can finally breath without him near me. My heart has calmed down but my eyes burn to see him again. I turn my thoughts to my sister. It had been exhausting today, more emotionally than anything else. He knew about her, he wasn't disgusted at her behaviour, rather he went in stride with it. I knew, without a doubt, when I saw the calm look in his eyes as he talked to my sister, the humble approach and attentive voice that he would make a great doctor someday.

Hisana had been good today. She had been in a good mood or else I would have to go through a week with a bruise and scratches to explain to people who didn't know I had a sister in amental institution. I'm glad she fell asleep. Ichigo didn't seem to know what to do with the situation, despite the gentleness in his eyes. Though there had been disbelief, he accepted my story the minute it left my mouth and I don't know how grateful I was to him. He was the only man I had ever taken to meet her at the institute. I had taken my friends from the Inn but that was it. The events that would follow would decide if Ichigo still wanted anything to do with me or not. I would have to wait.

Kami Rukia, you can be really stubborn sometimes

I hadn't wanted to see him today. I had decided to avoid him after what happened yesterday. I wouldn't be able to explain myself if he asked me about it. And I knew he would ask me about it. So I thought of distracting him, and what better way than to show him what I had promised. But why? Why did I care if he knew or didn't. Because I loved him? Because after seeing Senna with him I wanted to show him that I too was a women? Because I wanted him to know that if life was fair, I would be his and he would be mine? That I didn't want to be a whore but circumstances called for it. Was I justifying myself? Trying to help my case? I didn't want him to pity me, having worked hard all my life. I deflated at the questions whirling around in my head. I was a whore, this is the only world I knew. Circumstances be damned. What dignity did I have?

I arrive at few moments later. Yoruichi isn't in her front desk so I head up straight to my room, ready to fall asleep. Though I had had a good rest on the train on Ichigo's lap I couldn't bring myself to keep my eyes open anymore. I open the door and before I can turn the light on, I'm pulled into the darkness of the room. I gasp in surprise and lose my balance, landing on the wooden floor hard. I turn to the intruder, my senses tingling and my adrenaline rushing, readying myself for a fight. The light turns on and my voice is lost in my throat, my heart stops and my eyes widen.

"So you do work here."

I couldn't relive the sense of dega vu before a searing pain hit my back. I cried out at the pain of the kick and turn to see a large man standing above me. He leans down on his haunches and grabs my jaw. I fling my arms towards him so I could land a hit or even pull away. He pulls back and slaps me across the face, I see blinding white lights and feel nauseous at the taste of blood at my split lip. He ties a piece of clothe around my mouth.

"Though I don't know why we have to gag her seeing as this place gets more screams than a torture chanber."

I turn back to the beautiful girl standing at my door. She almost has a malicious smile on her face but her eyes are hard and angry.

"Senna?" I say in disbeleif, though the sound is muffled against the cloth. She walks towards me.

"I'm not sure you know who this is," she says casually as if we're in a tea party, "Yammy, my bodyguard."

I look at the burly man. He grins as a trail of blood flows down my chin. "Now your probably wondering what I'm doing here. don't worry I'm not here to kill you, just wanted to know what kind of people Ichi hangs around with."

My heart plummets at the endearing use of his name coming so casually from her mouth. She was here to hurt me, not kill me. Beat me within an inch of my life maybe. All because she was jealous. This type of thing had obviously happened before, women coming and trying to give me a piece of their mind. They usually didn't bring back up but even if they did, I would end up victorious if they got past Yoruichi that is. At the moment though, I was drained from the events of the day and not to mention the huge sidekick she had brought along was thrice my size. I looked at her with hatred, this was the kind of girl Ichigo was going to marry? The girl he had fallen in love with? Obviously he didn't know about this though. This girl was a psycho. What would happen to Ichigo now? Don't tell me he'd be in an even worse predicament than me.

"And of course I wanted to deliver some messages."

My eyes narrow at her as the big guy starts walking towards me. He pulls me up to my feet, my back protesting from where he had kicked me. He had probably broken a rib. I eye Senna in suspicion and hatred. She extracts a metal rod from behind her that I hadn't seen. My eyes widen at the intent in her eyes. It wasn't enough that she was marrying Ichigo, she had to beat me near death to do it. I let out a muffled scream, thrashing in the mans arm, though he help me in a grip lock.

"Tsk, hold still."

She brings the pipe down on my stomach, I clench my jaw in pain. I had gotten worse, I had gotten way worse. Her technique was flawed, she didn't know what she was doing, just flailing the metal around. I wouldn't give her the benefit of seeing me in pain. She does it again. Gaining confidence and momentum, her anger at me raging her on. She was breathing harder than me when Yammy dropped me to the floor. Senna kept going, hitting me anywhere she could. I couldn't move at the pain. I didn't cry out even as bruises formed and blood leaked out. She keeps going for what seemed like forever, but all I could think about was when the end would come? When would she be satisfied? Senna finally stops, breathing hard, standing over me for a few moments. She moves to the candle and flicks it out and I think it's over but then she lets out a small cry of outrage and hits my rib one last time. I heave in a heavy breath, strangling. Pain is all I felt. Painfully numb. Would this kill me? Was I already in hell? But I wasn't in hell. I knew that because Senna leans down, her mouth on my ear. I can hardly hear her over the pounding of my heart heart in my ears.

"Don't ever come near him again. You are a whore. He will never love you."

Hell would never have Ichigo. I let out a small cry at the thought of him.

"Shh," she soothes me, like a mother. Reaching her hand up to move a string of hair from my face. She stands up and leaves me on the floor. Tears leak at her words, they hit me worse than her physical rage ever would.

It was Orihime that found me, breathing hard and whining quietly. She called for Yoruichi, tears falling. She was shaking, as she reached for my hand. I let out a hiss of pain when she touched my broken finger. She kneeled on the ground crying when Yoruichi came with a few others who had been roused by the commotion. Voices were muffled to me as blood seeped uncomfortably into my ear. Matsumoto and Nell pushed foreward. Yoruichi kneeled down beside me, she said something I didn't hear. My vision grew fuzzy as Momo moved foreward, Matsumoto told her something and she left, running. I soon closed my eyes, welcoming the darkness.

I went to the Inn the next day, heart pounding in anticipation of seeing Rukia. Being near her. Everything seemed so different now. Had I really never noticed the roses that bloomed outside my house, how beautiful they were? I felt like a walking cliche as every poem ever written by a romantic suddenly held such profound meaning.

I should bring some flowers for her.

I decided against it. I was being ridiculous. I hadn't slept well last night, wide awake and thinking about her. I ran through all our conversations in my head. Remembering every gesture. The feel of her lips of her body under me. I couldn't get enough. I knew I had to do something about Senna, I couldn't exactly marry her if I was in love with another women. A prostitute nontheless. I sigh. Something would have to be done, but I didn't want to think about it now. I just wanted to see her. My eyes were stinging to catch a glimpse of her. When I arrived at the Inn, however, Yoruichi tells me Rukia wasn't there.

"Where is she?" I ask, slightly anxious. I had hoped to see her right now. Disappointment left me scrawling. She raises her eyebrows at my attitude and I immediately sober up.

"She's gone for a few months. She doesn't want to see anyone right now Ichigo."

A few seconds of silence pass, a few seconds of my heart frozen in my chest. What?

"What?" I ask, my voice is levelled and even, contrasting greatly with the emotions raging inside me. Yoruichi nods, looking down at the papers in front of her.

"Where?" my voice has raised an octave and a slight panic enters my tone. Yoruichi doesn't even look at me when she tells me.

"I can't give out that kind of information."

I see red, I clench my fist and try to reason with myself that I was talking to a women and beating her up would result in nothing. Not to mention she would probably leave me worse off.

"Please Yoruichi, I need to see her."

She shakes her head. Looking back up at me, "I'm sorry Ichigo. Unfortunately you wont see her until she gets back."

I swallow the lump in my throat, ignoring her, I turn towards the stairs and start to run up to her room. Calling her name down the hall. I'm almost yelling when I come to her door and slide it open. It's empty. Her tatami mat is folded under her table and the window is closed. I feel my heart ripping out. My breath leaving me as my body goes slack. She can't have left. She wouldn't.

"Ichigo," Yoruichi calls me softly. She wasn't mad, more cautious as I turned to her. Her eyes hold pity as she shakes her head. I know what she means and I turn away from her room of scented jasmines. I walk down the stairs, out of the Inn. My mind is blank and I revel in it. Because I knew what would happen when it hit me. I knew what would happen so I enjoyed my solitude for the time being. With the little sense I had left, I walked to Chads house. I knew if anyone would understand it would be him. He would listen quietly and let me get it out without judging me. Grimmjow was the person I had thought of initially but he didn't know how to keep his mouth shut and I didn't really feel like dealing with that.

I arrived at his house with the sun hanging low in the sky since he lived at the edge of town. He was in the shed out back. His father was a blacksmith and because they weren't Japanese, business wasn't exactly running. The large shed is hot and fire crackles loudly with the clangling of swords. Chad hammers the molten red between a sword while his father is by the fire, sticking the edges of a band of metal inside the flames. I don't say a word but Chad sees me come in even with all the noise in the small house. One look at my face and he calls to his father in his native language. They exchange words before Chad leaves his tools and walks over to me. He muscles are raw and his body is sweating. I instantly feel guilty coming here but I know I don't want to be alone right now. Later maybe. But not now. He leads me to the back of his small house, sitting on the wooden stairs outside the porch overlooking his backyard. He goes in for a few seconds. I look across the large yard with a small hen house and chickens pecking at the floor. For a few seconds. I'm at peace. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. There is no one behind my closed eyelids. Not her, not me. Only darkness. But all too soon, the over flow of that damn emotion of yearning consumes me. Yearning for her. For her supple lips, for the soft curve underneath her breast, for the mole just beneath the tenderness of her ears. I just want her. I want to see her so bad that I can't sit still. But I have no idea where she is and everything inside me just deflates in defeat.

The cool base of a beer bottle taps against my temple and I graciously take it from Chad. I thank him and he grunts at me, sitting down a step higher than me. I feel comfortable like this, not being able to see him. Its almost like he's not even there, though he exerts enough presence to let me know I'm not alone. We sit in silence, only the chugging of beers, the pecking of hens breaking the silence we fell in. I could think with Chad, he didn't ask me what was wrong, what had happened, or give me advise to buck up or challenge me in an insufferable way. No, me and Chad had this connection where one look could deliver a thousand words. I don't look at him as I start talking. Just one sentence and he understands what I'm going through. He won't question me, but he'll follow me to the ends of the earth if I asked him to come along.

"I love her, Chad."

He doesn't even satisfy me with a grunt or a nod, as I see from the corner of my eye. He just stares ahead. I had a feeling he already knew that. A small line of tears appear suddenly on my lower lid but I refuse to let them grow. I wouldn't cry. If I did, I had already given up. I sniff back the tears and lay my head down on my arm, hiding my face between my knees.

"She left," I whisper, almost to myself. "She's gone. And I love her."

Moments of silence pass between us and soon, the sky turns dark. I feel a dull weight on my shoulder and turn to Chad. He squeezes my shoulder in reassurance and finally speaks for the first time since I came to visit.

"Then wait for her."

And I did wait. I knew I'd wait for her. The only problem left was my engagement. I wondered how I would tell Senna. She had already started listing the people we were to invite. I admit I felt guilty about it. That I would be the one to destroy the happy expression on her face, but it had to be done one of these days, before her feelings grew even more profound. It had been a week since Rukia had left and I went to visit Grimmjow.

Seeing the expression on my face, he thumps me on the shoulder twice, his eyes convicing as he tells me,

"She'll come back."

I take a shuddering breath and nod to him. I hope so. I stay and we talk about other things, he asks me about my work and I ask him about Nell. It's a good distraction as we sip our drinks and relish in things other than my broken heart. The sun is setting when Grimmjow offers to come with me back to my house. Halfway through the walk, with the sun hanging low, a thought suddenly comes to mind and I turn to Grimmjow, his hands are in his pocket and he's wearing his signature scrawl almost identicle to mine.

"Grimmjow, How did you know she was gone?"

Grimmjow doesn't look at me, he's not even surprised at my question.

"Nel told me."

I can hear my heart pounding in my ear and my breathing get heavy. "Did she say anything else?"

He's quiet for a second as we keep walking. He suddenly stops in his steps and turns to me. I had known Grimmjow for a long time, hell I had grown up with him. I knew he would never lie to me, he couldn't lie to me. I would always see right through him. So when he says the next words I thought my heart was going to rip out.

"She was hurt Ichigo."

I can't breath. "What?"

Pause. "…there was a break in, she was beat up pretty bad."

My eyes widen and for a few instances I only see white blanks in my eyes. I squeeze my eyes at the tingling of oncoming tears of anguish. I push them back and clutch at my hair, pulling it as if I had lost my mind. Maybe I had. Why was this happeneing? Why wasn't I there for her? Why her? Why me?

I crouch down on my haunches and rest my forehead on my knee, my hands still clutching my hair. I hear Grimmjow calling my name but I hardly heard him as I try to pull the thought away. The thought of her hurt. It was eating and sizzling my brain, killing me from the inside out. But it was already a memory, branded in my thoughts. forever to remain. This cruel information about a bleeding angel.

I clench my jaw tightly until my teeth ache. I wanted her here. I wanted her beside me so I could keep her safe. I wanted her to belong to me. I take deep breaths to calm myself. My body is deflated at the overload of emotions I felt. I stay in that position for a while and start noticing the numbness of my legs so I pull my face back. I had forgotten Grimmjow was here. He was sitting across in the same position as me, smoking and looking up at the sky in a placid expression. I was grateful that he hadn't left, grateful he still took the shit I gave him. Grateful that he was here. That's all I needed. I get up and he throws his bud away. We don't say anything as we resume our walk.

The sun was falling when we reached home. Senna's carriage stood out front and Grimmjow groans loudly. I let out breathy chuckle at him.

"I don't know why you hate her so much."

"Cause she's a bitch."

Yep, he had no qualms about telling me anything.

"I'm going to tell her."

He's quiet, taking another puff from his smoke. He knows what I'm talking about but I tell him anyway.

"I'm not going to marry her."

We had reached the stairs when I heard laughter coming from the side of the house. I was going to ignore it, nerves of the upcoming heartbreak leaving me anxious when I hear the mention of the Inn Rukia worked. Hanyou Inn.

"You shoulda seen it man. I almost got off just watching her beat the crap outta that whore."

"That's disgusting man."

"Naw, it was totally worth it."

"Don't tell me you hit her too."

"I did. A punch here and kick there. She was so scrawny I probably broke all her bones."

"So Senna still beat her even after you had your turn."

He lets out a guffaw of a laugh. "That's why it's so hilarious man, women are crazy-

I didn't realize I had moved until I had already punched the burly man to the ground. He looks up in surprise, his nose is broken and blood drip down his nose. My hands shake in unrepressed rage and my eyes bolt in red flashes. Blood. I want to see blood and lots of it.


My voice is deadly calm. He wipes the blood from his chin, getting up. I don't give him a chance to talk or even twitch a finger before I'm on him again, punching and kicking and breaking and tearing. I have never lost control over myself. I have never put my entire strength in a fight, seeming unconventional and weak. But now, I didn't care. I didn't care how weak I looked, how stupid or irrational. I would kill this bastard. I would kill him. I couldn't see anything, didn't hear anything. My anger my only strength and my body my only weapon, but that's all I needed as I punched him to the ground, kicking him over and over again. Hearing the sickening sound of a crack or a loud groan there. I heard someone call my name from a distance but I hardly heard. This one had to die. Someone took ahold of my shoulder and I push them off, punching the shivering bitch on the ground. I almost smirk at the helplessness I see him in.

Yes! I would kill him.

A pair of hands grab me from behind and pull me back. I yell at them to let me go. To let me kill him, almost begging.

"Ichigo calm down."

It's my dad and I almost feel like a kid again, getting into a fight with Grimmjow over a toy truck. I try to calm down as my dad hold me back, arms around my chest. I didn't notice I was trying to pull away from him and I stop. I breath in deeply, my blood still pumping. I needed to break something, kill someone. I look at the heavy carcass of the man and realize he's unconscious. Not dead. I can still see the rise and fall of his chest. He's beaten to a pulp and his clothes are red with his blood. My knuckles are raw from hitting his rough skin and wet both his blood and mine. I nod at my dad to let him know I've calmed down. He lets me go cautiously, but I don't make a move to return to the fight, instead I turn around and I feel the anger bubble up inside me all over again. Senna stands like a coward behind my father and Grimmjow. All their faces are shocked but it is only Senna who's as white as chalk. I take 4 strides to reach her. She shakes in fear but I can't find it in me to feel sorry for her. I grab her hand roughly, not taking my eyes off her. She flinches as if I'd hit her. I hadn't sunk that low yet. I pull my mother's ring from her finger. I can't believe something so pure had been in her possession for the past few month. She whimpers like a dog when I pull the jewel out. Her eyes rise to mine and a tear falls from her eyes. My features only show anger and I am doing everything to control the urge to kill her as well, no matter how many memories we shared, no matter how close we were. I wanted to kill her. How could she?

"I don't ever want to see you again," I say to her, it comes out husky, like a whisper. The words are rough against my throat like sandpaper. Talking doesn't seem enough, I want to beat her to a pulp, but I settle with letting my anger out through my mouth. The anger is laced in and I see her wince. "The weddings off…and one more thing."

I grab the collar of her dress and pull to me and look at her with condescending eyes. "If you ever, ever, come near Rukia again, I will personally come to kill you. You know I could do it. Don't fuck with me."

I push her away and take towards the house. The smell of blood was heavy on my senses and I'm not so sure a shower would calm my anger.


I freeze at the endearing tone in her voice, never before noticing how it grated on my nerves, like nails on a board. "Don't call me that." I turn to her, tears fall unperturbed from her eyes. A sliver of hope enters her eyes when she sees me hesitate. I shake my head at her slowly. "I have never seen you look uglier Senna."

I turn and go in, knowing that her pride would one day be the death of her.

I explain my situation to my dad the next day. We sat in the kitchen, it felt like déjà vu when I recalled that he told me about his elopement with my mother a while back. He sits quietly and listens to everything I tell him, from the bookshop, to the prostitution, to the mental hospital. He had found out about Senna after I had gone inside last night. Grimmjow had filled him in after Senna had left with her beat up driver. My dad had taken them home. After I finish we sit in silence for a few moments. His arms are crossed over the table and his brows are furrowed in concentration. My palms are sweaty and my breathing is quick with anxiousness. If I could only tell him, show him, how much I loved her. Would things be different? It didn't matter how many men she had been with, it bothered me. Like hell, I wanted to track each and every one of those men down and break each and every bone in their body before cutting their tongue off and doing other bloody things to them. I had never felt this way about anyone, ever. She had a whole different category in my life. She was everything to me. Constantly on my mind, always in my thoughts. So much so, that I started to wonder what I had been like before meeting her? What had my life been without her? And I hoped with all my heart that my dad understands that.

He got up from his chair suddenly, the noise awkward after the silence we had been in. he doesn't look at me then he turns and leaves the room. My heart drops.

He doesn't understand.

He didn't understand why I was in love with a prostitute. I put my head in my hands, my body deflating in agony. Why did this have to happen? I huff in a few breaths. What would I do? I would find a way, I couldn't go on without her. I would definitely make my dad see reason. But what if he didn't?… I'd have to figure something out. Suddenly the noise of a chair scrapping back breaks me from my reverie. It's my dad, he takes a deep breath and looks at me with a serious face.

"Now look Ichigo, if you want this girl, you gotta marry her. No beating around the bush ok. I'm getting old and I want to have grandchildren soon ."

My mouth stands agape, staring at him in awe. "Wha-"

"Ichigo, you look like a guppy. Close that mouth that you use for indecent things my son. Haven't I taught you any better?"

My eyebrows furrow in anger and confusion. "What are you talking about? You just left me here and-"

"Oh sorry, I needed to take a tinkle and I didn't want to disturb the cool atmosphere while you were talking so I waited it out. But seriously Ichigo, get a clue. Don't you know what a man looks like when he's got to go?"

"You stupid old goat man."

He bursts into tears and hugs himself. "Oh Misaki, our son has turned into a deliquent, a rebel of society, going into brothels and beating people up then calling his daddy names. Oh where did I go wrong?"

"Dad shutup," I huff in irritation and somewhat incredulous. "Your…really okay with this?"

He turns to his serious face like a flip of a coin, I almost get whiplash.

"Now raising a family is a big deal my unholy son-"

"-Don't call me that-"

"-it's a lot of work and commitment and giving birth is hard work-"

"-I'm not giving birth-"

"-and feeding and cleaning and changing diapers-"

"-What- wait, nobody is talking about a family here. I'm just telling you that I love her."

He smirks at me knowingly and at that moment I think he sees everything laid out in my future.

"You love her?"

I blush at the bluntness, hearing it is more embarrassing than I thought. Nonetheless, I nod. His smirk widens.

"She love you?"

I pull back in surprise. I had never thought of that. What if everything I was feeling wasn't reciprocated? What if she felt nothing for me? She had been with so many men before, who was I to her? But I didn't linger on the thought, I would get her to love me. No matter what it takes, she would be mine.

"I don't know."

His smirk grows even more. "Go make her."

(A/N) I AMMMMMMM SOOOOOOORRRRRRRYYYYYYYYYYYYY YYYYYYYY. I have been busy. University sucks balls and i wanna be done with it as soon as possible. screw education muahahaha jokes, i need that shit to write pornos XD