Promise is most given when the least is said. - George Chapman


She can't see him.

Yoruichi sits before her vanity, hair loosened down her back. A single oil lamp burns light into her eyes through the mirror in which she stares. Outside, fog strangles the nighttime air. It shivers against her much like his lips would, pressed against hers on long-ago nights.

Those nights are halfway-gone, now that another war steals into the Seireitei on silent footsteps.

She can't see him, but he's there, just outside her bedroom door.

She breathes in the foggy air.

"Don't you dare die, Byakuya Kuchiki. I won't have you haunting me like she haunts you."

(She doesn't have the heart to tell him otherwise).

He comes to her like darkness, slipping easily through the murk, to rest both hands against her throat. The warmth of him burns against her back.

"I would haunt you as surely as your shadow, Yoruichi."

Yoruichi chuckles. "Is that a compliment?"

His pause is thicker than the fog.

"A promise."

The light in her eyes would dull gold as she peers at him, dual reflections in the mirror. His face is stark and beautiful against the shadows. She reaches up to press one palm against his pale cheek, to make sure she isn't dreaming him.

She closes her eyes so she can't see him. The voice which speaks is and is not hers; it carries the echo of nightfall.

"I would haunt every step you took until the day you died. That is the only promise I make."

He doesn't kiss her or breathe against her nape. His fingertips linger against her throat for a moment more. He breathes fog against her skin, and slips back into the darkness, out of sight.

She loses him in moonrise.