Summary: Pre 686, trying to explore how Ichigo and Rukia separated and what Ichigo dealt with/processed after Ywach’s words. Kind of ended up being Ichigo-centric, hope that’s alright. Formatting inspired by @deathbympreg! Angst (aka I’m back lmao).
His vengeance is low cavils to the moon: ‘You’re too pretty; too bright; too holy.’ Before him, that orb lounges, unfettered, and her waves bathe him in incandescent motion. It’s the last of her he lets himself steal; it seeps into his soul and festers in his vessel, a slow erosion of all memory.
Take them away, take them away; have your revenge.
Wind is careless because it is unkempt, so the gail bites at his skin and tugs at his hair as he stays, stubborn in his vision of the night sky.
Only when his bones feel as cold as stone does he pull away from her gaze.
Hatred. Replace with hatred.
Day 386, repeat
Her vengeance didn’t need to be anything more than a look in his direction, eyes lakes of violet and void and hurt. It was worse than any puncture wound, any hit and scratch, any fight he had sustained in the past. It wasshattering pain and fiery explosions in his atoms; it was swords at his skin and fists at his neck.
He wonders if he ever conveyed the reaches of his love; abiding affections; hatred it has to be hatred, but — how could one woman be so sincerely faultless?
Ywach is a constant hot lesion to his abdomen - he doesn’t know why there; there have been many tears to his foundations so the specification of a spot unnerves him . It has never been just one pain. It has been countless, nasty, vicious, pounding things. The worst are the tears on the inside. Those that demand his oxygen in hot drafts and drain all colour from his life. Purple, specifically. Specifically that.
The day he realises is the first day he lets himself loiter outside his house. There is a spot on the concrete that he loathes; it’s there he is assaulted by the sudden phantom of a blade plunged through his organs; the old riveted power that had flowed into him by the grace of one, singular cause a burning reminder of loss.
The irony of feeling a ‘ghost’ of a memory almost makes him laugh.
Harder than he ever has before, though, he howls, splintering with the weight of it all.
“You should come over, really. It’s been better, lately. Your reiatsu is more stable these days, right? Tamed?” That’s a lie. Renji is far better at Kidō than Ichigo; he knows. “Rukia’s cooking,” He breaks for a wince “-she borrowed a recipe from Inoue. I tried to tell her to stop, let me take over, but, you know Rukia.”
Ichigo thanks god that he does.
There’s an excuse at his tongue; anger a viper at his teeth. The audacity of his request is personal.
He doesn’t know; no one does.
Doubt colours Renji’s eyes for the first time since Ichigo drove Zangetsu through his flesh from shoulder to ribs, and tore through every tendon and string of sinew piecing him together. With his love. His love. His. Almost, something akin to revelation greets Ichigo in that memory, and he lingers on it until his fingernails break skin.
“Sorry, I can’t.”
Renji’s vengeance is the person he gets to go home to each night.
Vengeance is the absence of the moon. There is no ‘New Moon’ because there only ever was one, and a celestial body can only be a celestial body once — he should know.
There are days where it seems that his future destination has been ripped from the universe’s original formatting.
This is one of them.
He… is unashamedly self-centric. Heroic to a fracturing fault; it carves at him more than anything else.
The funny thing is: the absolutely hilarious bit, just wait—
There is unbridled, raw, power within his veins, and it whispers joy. It whispers warmth; solace; comfort; light, light, light— Rukia. That’s the cruelest part, he thinks; knows. Part of her had been embedded into him since their first meeting, since his world fell away into colours and sound and life. Joyous, giddy, motherfucking life.
But, he can’t direct a fist into his flesh in order to find a small sliver of her soul. Not with family to take care of.
Maybe, just maybe, he laughs, then. Laughs at the off-hand comment that his wife had made regarding it all: You should see her. She misses you, I hear — it’s raucous. Maddeningly dissonant. If only he could articulate how desperately he has been willing those words away, then maybe his laugh would seem less wicked, and less heavy, and less like teeth sinking into the skin of her arms.
Inoue Orihime had never not known Ichigo Kurosaki until that moment.
Each timeline is a razored-wire dragging channels into his heart. If he were a blank canvas before he is now nothing but furious cicatrice, marks marring a page of depression and indecision and smouldering angst.
Vengeance is the cold bathroom tiles digging into his knees at 3AM.
It is the accumulation of each string, each thread intertwining to a single breaking point deep, deep within his sternum. An angry pressure that pulses relentlessly every waking second of every waking minute of every waking day.
The most vicious form of self-abasing is allowing himself the time of the day to think. When the whirring of his mind stops, even for a second, there’s only universes and constellations he is far too peripheral to be a part of; but still, all they sing is home.
He believes them, because his house surely isn’t.
Those parts are the worst. He dreads those parts. He dreads them even before he knows them, and he dreads them forever after.
Vengeance, it turns out, is the absence of Rukia Kuchiki in his life.
For some unknown reason, he hadn’t thought that it would pull apart each piece of him in such a excruciating manner.
(adjective) Recognized as one of the most beautiful words in the English dictionary, incandescent is defined as the stunning dazed yellow light, which is emitted from heat. Derivative from this definition, incandescent can also be used to describe a passionate individual or brilliance.