conjure_lass: (Bleach: Uraichi Kiss)
[personal profile] conjure_lass
Author: Conjure Lass!
Title: Waxwing
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Uraichi
Warnings: Angst, Character Death, Mourning, Grief, Sadness, Boo-hoo.
Summary: A Time for Letting Go…
Author's Notes: I wrote this one for the Come As You're Not Party. The objective was to write outside my box. Please note that this story does *NOT* fall into any previous Uraichi storyline I have written and is to be taken completely outside that plotline. Don't worry guys! Everyone is still alive in my world! Blame it all on [ profile] akuni for she was the one who put me up to this. *giggle*

The marigolds had died long ago…

Where once petals colored like the setting sun kept vigil next to the bed, now there lay only the withered husks of flowers, lifeless and brown. They and their companions, shriveled chrysanthemums, scattered noisily across the floor in the breeze from the open window, the scent of old incense a heavy perfume in the air. Soft candlelight, the only warmth in an otherwise cold room, waved and danced against the wall, illuminating a lone figure curled silently on a rumpled futon. The figure barely stirred at the sound of a pair of waxwing singing outside in the ume trees in the twilight, rolling over only long enough to clutch at an abused pillow before stillness settled around him once more.

He’d been this way for days.

Ichigo reached out slowly towards a stray flower, taking it in his fingertips and bringing it up to his face, rubbing his nose along the dry petals with a barely audible sigh. As the dead bloom crumbled and turned to dust in his grasp, he closed his eyes tightly, willing the tears to keep back, willing his breath to keep even. If a heart could have disintegrated and fallen to ashes, surely it would have done so, even though it was beating so frantically in his chest that he felt light-headed. What irony that it was during the moment he wanted to feel his life beating in his body the least that he was at once most aware of it. Cruel.

He should have gotten up, taken a shower, tried to clean up the mess that was strewn across the bedroom he had once shared with his departed lover…but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. The sheets, smelling vaguely of Kisuke’s shampoo, were still open the way he had left them, the indentation of his head still pressed into the pillow. Ichigo was careful not to disturb either of them, snuggling as close to the quickly fading smell of the blonde as he could, convincing himself that perhaps if he just closed his eyes long enough that when he opened them he wouldn’t be alone anymore.

But he always was.

If he’d died in some monumental battle, died in the glory of combat, maybe Ichigo might have felt better about it. He doubted it though. There was simply no comfort for him, nothing that anyone could say or do to ease his agony, nothing to keep his heartbreak at bay. His family had been trying for days to get him to come out of the bedroom, promising to at least feed him, as though somehow eating might have filled up the empty spaces that Kisuke’s passing had wrought within him. The notion was laughable at best, insulting as worst, and Ichigo had somewhat-less-than-politely told them he didn’t need anyone’s company or charity. That if he couldn’t have the person he wanted most in the world than he’d rather be alone.

There was no time in his life that he could remember being more lonely. Even when his mother had died, her life stolen away in the torrential rain, he hadn’t felt this pressing ache in his chest, the gaping hole in his spirit that left him utterly speechless in its wake. When he’d watched them bury Kisuke’s ashes in the ground, the dark earth covering his urn like it had never existed at all, Ichigo was certain something inside of him curled up and died. The pain that had up until that point been a sharp wound in his gut had expanded, becoming this throbbing torment, constant and unrelenting, eating at what little strength he had left until he couldn‘t seem to move. Frozen in his grief, immobilized by his mourning.

He couldn’t even cry…

The breeze that had been blowing through the window picked up in intensity, knocking some things around on the dresser nearby, catching Ichigo’s attention when a few fell to the floor. One in particular caught his eye the most, rolling around on its side to land upside down, mocking Ichigo with its green and white stripes, reminding him of distant times when he‘d seen that same damn hat do that same damn thing. He stared at it for what seemed like an eternity, not knowing if he even had the strength to pick it up off the floor.

Another stiff wind…it blew closer. His eyes narrowed, pushing himself upright with shaky arms, mechanically sitting and glaring at the offending article of clothing. Inexplicably, he felt himself growing angry, a fire lighting in the bowels of his heart that spurred him into action, sent energy into his legs that allowed him to rise up off the bed. He was across the room before he could even blink, slamming the window shut hard enough that he felt the sill shudder and crack against the strain. Ichigo didn’t exactly know what he was angry at, only that he could barely suppress the shivering in his exhausted limbs, the furious tears that stung at the corners of his eyes. Why couldn’t anything, even the wind, simply leave him be!?

Scooping up the hat almost reverently, he ran the pads of his thumbs across the worn brim, licking at lips that had abruptly gone so dry. The world was getting a bit blurry, his vision becoming hazy, and he heard himself sniffle before the first tear fell onto the fabric of Kisuke’s hat. Sinking slowly to the floor, he crossed his legs and leaned forward, doubling up on himself as his forehead brushed against the hat that had once almost never left his lovers head. His smell was still there, imbedded in the cloth, years of wear making it impossible to eradicate. It smelled like him. The tears were coming faster now, soft sounds hiccupping from his throat as he rubbed his wet cheek across the top of the hat. Nothing was every going to be all right…was it?

Was it…

Long minutes passed as Ichigo sat prone on the floor, finally looking up towards the futon; its wrinkled sheets, its dying memories. The candle at the bedside was nearly gone, the last vestiges of its light starting to flicker away as night settled in around him, the wax expanding into a quickly hardening pool on the tray. Soon its glow would burn out completely, leaving Ichigo entirely alone in the dark, sitting on the tatami mats with no one to help him up. No one he wanted anyway.

And maybe that’s what hurt the most…the idea that someday the candle of his affection for Kisuke would slowly burn out, leaving the place where he’d kept their love empty and alone. He couldn’t stand the thought of that. That the place in his soul that had once been so vibrant and alive would wither away just like the marigolds strewn across the floor, something he’d have to eventually clean up and throw away. Kisuke meant more to him than that. Even now that he was gone, Ichigo could still feel him there inside, nestled in every corner of his being, every thought, every breath, each sorrowful glance, all his lonely sighs. That would never change, nor did he want it to.

It didn’t have to change…did it? That didn’t have to change for Ichigo to get better…

The walk back to the futon seemed longer than the one to the window, a strange resolution forming in his chest with each unsteady step taken towards it. He remembered this feeling; this feeling that Kisuke had taught him. When he finally made it to the bed he went down to his knees, reaching gently across the sheets to run his fingertips across the cool surface of his lover’s pillow, letting his hands commit to memory the feel of the recess, the slight scratchiness of the pillowcase. Everything. He wanted to have a sensory memory of everything…before…

Ichigo reached down and grasped at the wrinkled sheet, taking a deep breath and closing his eyes. Gradually he began pulling the bedding up, up, up towards the top of the futon, tucking in the edges with infinite care, making sure everything was in order, everything was in place. He took just as much attention with the rest of the coverings, methodical and unhurried, until at last the bed was finally made. Perfect and clean. Finality. Ichigo bowed his head, tears dripping off his chin like they had at Kisuke‘s funeral, as if he’d just buried him in the ground all over again.

But the bed was made.

The fading candle on the other side of the futon drew his attention away from his tears for a moment, the light flashing shakily across his face, casting long shadows against his skin. It was about to go out after hours of being lit. It was going out. No…he couldn’t let it go out like that. Not like that.

Standing stiffly, he brought two fingers up to his cheek and coated them with his still-wet tears, moving to crouch down next to the tray with its dead flowers and dying candle, staring straight ahead because he didn’t have the nerve to look down at it. Without allowing himself to second-guess his actions, he let his fingers drift forward towards the wick of the candle, hesitating when he felt the burn of the flame against his skin. Kisuke wouldn’t want him to be like this. He wouldn’t want Ichigo to be so miserable, even though it wasn’t something the older man could have prevented.


And the candle went out with a final, earth-shattering hiss.

This KILLED a little piece of me. Killing my favorite character and writing about mourning? WTF? I'm so glad I don't do this very often. *tears up*


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December 2012

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