left my heart in camelot. ♕ (choseri) wrote in starry_ink,
left my heart in camelot. ♕
choseri
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Bleach_15 - Prompt 2 (Black and White)

Title: Five Years, and It's Still Raining
Author: arizaki_shisaku 
Characters/Pairing: Byakuya/Rukia
Rating/Warnings: none - G
Theme: #2 - Black and White 

Five Years, and It’s Still Raining

It’s raining outside, again, and Kuchiki Byakuya is disgruntled, because what he hates the most is being cooped up inside of the large, empty Kuchiki mansion.

Sure, he could try to slop his way through the rain to the Sixth Division office and attempt to complete some paperwork, but then when he looks outside again at the downpour, he decides it’s not worth getting his hair wet when he can accomplish some work at home in his personal study.

He sighs, and enters his study, pouring a steaming cup of tea and sipping it while looking out the window at the large, ominously dark clouds pouring a constant stream of rain against the window of the mansion.

He often forgets the date, so that’s why it surprises him when he turns around to his desk to work, that he sees the calendar is flipped to December…December 20, to be exact.

This day, five years ago (which all seemed like the course of a few days to a shinigami as old and as wise as Byakuya – although not quite the grand age of Yamamoto-genryuusai), Rukia had waved good-bye to him, and then she had disappeared through the gate with that boy-turned-shinigami, Ichigo (although Byakuya still thought of him as “the ryoku”).

She had promised him days, weeks before that she would come back from her mission, once she accomplished the task of freeing the world of Hollows and evil souls with Ichigo, and Byakuya had actually believed the confident smile she had worn and he had removed her from his protective embrace and let her go into the world.

He still remembered the way her hair had swished as she was sucked into the portal between the spirit world and the living world, the sound of her voice yelling good-bye to Byakuya, and the last fleeting glimpse of her face before the gate closed and she was lost to him forever.

If he remembers correctly, it had been raining on that day too.

Byakuya had no news of Rukia, and how she was doing on her quest to rid the world of evil with that ryoku and his motley crew of high school kids. She had told him empty words, of returning within a year, maybe two…it had been five long years, and she had never come back.

He reaches into a desk drawer, abandoned and empty except for a photo album that would have shone like new except for the thick dust that had settled over it in its years in storage. He gently wipes off the dust, watching it fall to the carpet and hearing the rain swish-swish-swish down the walls of the mansion outside.

Almost reverently, he opens the cover of that particular, special photo album for the first time in five years.

The last time he had pried its covers open, it had been the night before Rukia left, and they had been laughing together over some of the sillier pictures that the album featured of them. He remembered her laugh, so bright and clear, and then suddenly, it was no more except for the faint laughter in his memories as he stared at the picture of her with her big, eager smile.

After that night, Byakuya had slid the photo album into his desk drawer, rid of all its contents except for this photo album, and never opened the drawer again for five years.

He flips to the next page of the album, and he sees a large picture of Rukia, pulling a face, her face alight with happiness, and with one hand she tugs at the arm of Byakuya, who stands by regarding her with a certain fondness in his eyes and a smile pulling at the corners of his lips. This picture was taken in the height of spring, and sakura petals litter the ground, and an occasional few are stuck in Rukia’s hair (but never in Byakuya’s hair, no matter how much he loves sakura, he refuses to let them ruin his hair).

He wonders what it would be like if the picture had been in color. Maybe the details would have been sharper, the violet sparkle in Rukia’s eyes would have been brighter, the sakura flurries nothing more than mere pink puffs of color against the clear blue sky.

But for now, he settles with this black and white picture that looks old and aged, and perhaps it is, even after having been disturbed for the first time in five years. It’s almost as if in a dream, as he continues to stare wistfully at that simple black and white picture and he is transported to a time in breathtakingly sharp colors, cool spring air, and most importantly, the joyful cries of Rukia’s laughter.

The memories become too much for Byakuya on this lone night. Abruptly, he shuts the photo album and slides it back into the desk drawer and resumes staring out of the window.

It’s been five years, and for Byakuya, it’s never stopped raining.

-fin-

 
Tags: bleach_15, byakuruki
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