Yet another Bleach fic from your ever-crazed Harmony ^^ What is with me writing dramatic stuff recently? I should write humorfics more often.
I’m completely astonished to see how much rarer this pairing is than it should be. Every scene I see in which they’re together screams out ‘potential yaoi!!’ to my ears. So, I decided I’d write a fic about them (hopefully one of many fics about them, if I can get my brain to work that hard). This has been cross-posted to asterisk_plus, bleach_yaoi and kurosaki_clinic (EDIT: also to shuukira now).
Author: Harmony (Silver Harmony)
Pairing: Hisagi Shuuhei/Kira Izuru.
Word Count: Approximately 1,556.
Disclaimer: Not mine – otherwise this pairing would be canon.
Feedback: Very much appreciated, as I would like to write much better Bleach fics. Your concrits mean a lot to me, especially when it tells me what you think of the story and what I can do to improve. Please and thank you.
Summary: In the aftermath of his captain’s betrayal and departure, Kira tries to go on.
The traces of him were still there.
His presence, his shadow, his breath, all seemed to have remained in the deserted office. Izuru gathered together the cluttered pieces of paper; the abandoned inkbrush and inkpot; the small pile of record books that were already filmed with a thin layer of dust. The lone ceramic cup, forgotten, that still held leftover cold tea. He cleared away the fallen wilted petals that lay in the corner of the desk, from the single flower that Rangiku had brought over in a vase almost three weeks ago. Afterwards, he took those away, too.
Everything in the room, from the walls to the scattered objects, seemed to have been preserved in time and history. His memory lay there, strong as ever. It was as if he had never really left.
Izuru cleaned, gathered, tidied, put away.
It had been a while, now. He had not been able to bring himself to enter the office for days after Captain Ichimaru had gone. Sometimes, he still found it difficult to believe that it had not been just a bad dream. It was strange, having to run the Third Division on his own, without the ever-familiar instruction and guidance.
But eventually, he had strengthened his resolve, and forced himself to return to this office. He did not want to be rendered helpless by a memory. So he cleared things away, emptying himself of the wishes that he knew would never be granted. Every time an area of the desk was cleared, every time a shelf had been tidied, something within him would vanish, too, so that as he went on, Izuru felt less, and less.
The spare uniform that the Captain had kept lay untouched, folded over the high back of the spare chair near the desk. Izuru stood in front of it, looking at it blankly. The Third Division insignia stared him in the face. He touched the soft fabric with his fingertips. The scent that he was so familiar with was still on it, and he could smell it, even from his distance.
He didn’t know if he could ever forget that scent… the scent that, until two weeks ago, had always been around him, near him, everywhere, somewhere.
Izuru looked up at the doorway. The shinigami that stood there gazed back at him, with eyes that held soft concern.
He smiled, although he knew he felt little in it. ‘Hello, Hisagi-san.’
Hisagi nodded and walked over to him, seeming a bit uncertain. ‘How’s the cleaning going? I just thought I’d come by and see how you were.’
‘I’m pretty much done,’ answered Izuru, glad to hear that his voice managed to carry some of the refined steadiness it usually did. He knew Hisagi was so strong, so mature. It was something he imitated now, out of his refusal to be helpless in reminiscence.
The dark-haired vice captain did not tear his gaze away. ‘What’s left?’
‘Just the uniform, maybe.’
Hisagi nodded again. And then the two of them stood there, facing each other, in hesitant silence.
When what seemed like an eternity had passed and Hisagi had said nothing more, Izuru turned around and picked up the uniform. He began folding it, almost routinely, a part of him wondering who would be the next to don it upon their shoulders. It would no longer bear that scent that he knew.
He placed the uniform into the box in the corner that he had prepared to store away, and then it was done. He was finished.
The office was clean. It had been almost completely emptied. He tried not to think about the scent that remained, hanging relentlessly in the air, lingering.
‘Well,’ Izuru said, trying his best to lace some kind of brightness into his words, ‘should we go drink as usual, Hisagi-san?’
Hisagi looked at him, seeming thoughtful.
‘Maybe later tonight, Kira.’
‘Sure,’ Izuru nodded in response.
Another pause fell between them.
‘So… are you feeling okay about all this?’ asked Hisagi after a while, a little warily.
The blond shrugged casually, not wanting this conversation to go any deeper. ‘We’ve all had the heart-to-hearts we’ve needed, and we’ve gotten ourselves drunk many times to accept it. It’s been a fortnight, now. All we can do is pick up the pieces and go on. No point dwelling on it, is there?’
‘I suppose not. Although, it feels strange that we do have to focus on protecting ourselves from them now, when they had always been here to protect us.’
Izuru breathed; Hisagi, as responsible as always, had come to the most obvious point, always knowing how to sort his priorities and his thoughts. The honesty in his words had caught Izuru off-guard. And he must have shown it without realizing it, because Hisagi glanced at the blond’s expression and a look of regret instantly crossed his face, as if he thought he’d said the wrong thing.
‘Don’t be. It’s true,’ the blond said quickly. ‘We’re done for if we let personal grievances get in the way. We’re the ones left behind to lead our divisions, after all. We have a duty to them, and to Seireitei.’
He meant every word he’d said, and he was pleased to hear that the firmness of his own voice resonated it. Hearing this, Hisagi looked a little more relieved. That, in turn, made Izuru feel a little more relieved, too.
‘We’ve always been there for each other, Kira, and I don’t think that’ll change,’ Hisagi said slowly, and Izuru smiled.
‘Without a doubt.’
Silence fell between them again. Izuru couldn’t help but feel strange that they were comfortably continuing to have this conversation, even when he had made it clear that he had already had his share of heart-to-hearts on the matter, and that Hisagi probably felt the same. He watched as the dark-haired vice-captain made his way over to the window and opened it, before hoisting himself up to sit casually on the sill.
‘Hope you don’t mind,’ he said. ‘There’s a rather strong smell in here.’
Izuru looked to the ground, knowing exactly what it was.
‘It’s Ichimaru-Taicho’s smell,’ he uttered. ‘There was a soap that Unohana-Taicho made that he liked – something quite musky and strong. He often asked for his uniform to be washed with it, too, for the fragrance. I could always smell it when he was nearby. And… this room had also always been filled with the scent.’
Hisagi smiled faintly.
‘You know, sometimes it’s okay to have memories like that,’ he said, his voice gentle. ‘It shows that we hadn’t done the wrong thing by loving them, and being loyal to them.’
A dull pain returned to Izuru’s chest at hearing this. It surprised him; he thought he had been rendered completely empty.
‘Like yesterday, when I was going through my paperwork,’ Hisagi continued, ‘I noticed at the corner of my desk an old stain that I’d been ignoring for months. Tousen-Taicho was drinking tea there some time ago, when he was explaining some documents to me. It made me remember how he always spilled his tea, and how I always cleaned it up.’
‘Doesn’t it hurt you sometimes, though?’ Izuru asked suddenly, the sensation in his chest making him uncomfortable. ‘Remembering what could never be again?’
Hisagi tilted his head to the side.
‘Sometimes,’ he answered. ‘But grieving always hurts. And our wounds are still new. There’s no shame in the fact that it would still hurt, at this point in time.’
Izuru closed his eyes. He willed himself not to let his emotions wash over him; not again, not after all this time. He had never really expected for this conversation to go this far. But everything Hisagi said was so honest and true, and it was as if something had begun to crumble on the inside. He took in a breath; it felt shaky.
Izuru opened his eyes, and Hisagi sighed.
The blond was confused by this. ‘What?’
‘Come here,’ Hisagi repeated.
Izuru did not understand, but he slowly walked over to the window where Hisagi was sitting, nonetheless. He stood in front of the other shinigami, looking up at him in puzzlement, not quite sure what he was doing.
But before he could ask, Hisagi had clasped his hand, and pulled him closer. Izuru felt warm, strong arms encircle his shoulders, and a comforting breath brushing against his cheekbone. A careful hand caressed the back of his head. It was an embrace that was so close and so secure that he felt something awakening inside him, something he had never even known existed.
All it had taken was the gentleness of the other shinigami’s touch, and Izuru felt himself slowly going to pieces. He buried his face into the crook of Hisagi’s neck and could almost swear that he could feel Hisagi’s pulse; that he could feel Hisagi’s heart beating. For some reason, his own heart was beating faster, too, and he knew that it was proof that they were both still thriving, still living on.
Izuru closed his eyes tightly, and suddenly noticed the soft smell surrounding him, filling him. It was a honeyed fragrance of tenderness, of closeness, of warmth. Hisagi’s scent.
‘We’ll help heal each other’s wounds,’ a voice whispered into his ear.
Izuru wrapped his arms around Hisagi’s waist and surrendered to the wet heat rising up behind his eyes.