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12 December 2008 @ 12:37 am
Je Ne Sais Quo Chapter 2 [Renji x Rukia]  
Title: Je Ne Sais Quoi Chapter 2
Pairing: Renji x Rukia
Fandom: Bleach
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rating: T
Summary: There is something about her that gives off the stink of living out of spite.

Chapter 1 || Chapter 3

 

2.

Sun sets differently in Seireitei, he noticed. He observes the bright flashes of yellow and sudden, overwhelming bursts (like a blood cell dying) and immediately, Renji can see the world. He can feel infinite swelling rejoicing, knowing.

That Death can come but he is safe.

Safe in Seireitei, where the elite come to play (and sneer as the poor, the wasted, the trashed are left to rot in filth).

And Renji’s mouth curls up into a cruel smile, watching her gape in awe and wonder too, and is glad knowing he’s not the only one having his heart crushed. Having his dreams and expectations come falling down.

This is where dreams come to perish in a poetic death.

-

In an adjacent shed—in an inconspicuous, infested, strawman room—Renji takes Rukia there and kisses her like mad.

Stuffs her of love, of hollowness, of hallowedness, of everything he has and is worth not.

And sometimes, when she leaves (just a little disheveled and reddening) he can see the hints of playful guilt rising. That is signal for him to smile. Something casual, something surreal.

He would never think of making this into anything more.

-

They study at the Academy during the day until their eyes swim from memorizing complicated spells and hands throb from clutching the wooden swords. And finally, he ssneak out to converse with their new friends by the evening (without Rukia drifting along).

So, Renji takes his time and sips the sake and beer and looks back and forth from Kira to Hinamori). And he imagines what it would feel like kissing Hinamori instead. And despises himself for thinking it incredible.

Just lovely.

Especially when she bites down on her lower lip and looks around like a scared, tossed out rabbit. Her eyes widen unbelievably, and she seems like she’s jumping into air—flying over moons and heavens because she is just that light.

And even though Rukia is horridly stick-skinny herself, she’s like stone.

She’s got her feet strongly anchored to the ground (she’s a realist). And Renji needs to have his dreams amended.

(Because the collapse of foundations of youths of minds and hallucinations would hurt something terrible.)

-

He hardly ever sees her anymore. And now that exams are approaching, he barely has time to breathe and sleep.

But there she is, one day, waiting for him by the (now abandoned) shed. Her arms stretched out and a grin expanding, Rukia looks divine.

Just like some stupid angel come down to earth (and got her wings snapped off so she can’t ever leave).

Renji grins eagerly back.

-

“Wait,” she says.

And there’s a fearful look on her face.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing…I. Just not tonight, okay?”

And the frenzy stops.

-

He tells her that when he graduates from the Academy he wants to become Fukutaichou to her brother. Rukia doubles over from laughing. Her spine is curved and poking out of the thin robe in small hills, jagged from incessant giggles.

Renji glares and shoves past her.

“Forget you!” He shouts after.

But still Rukia laughs, because it is the most hi-lari-ous thing she’s heard him say.

-

When Renji is assigned to Byakuya’s Division, Rukia shuts up—straight and solemn as a cursed, venomous arrow.

-

Renji detaches himself from the world as training intensifies. He gets this familiar look of famine and vigor (rigor—mortis) in him that frightens the hell out of her.

Yet, Rukia doesn’t say a thing, knows it’s best to let him be for now. And knows that any disturbance could set him off, and when Renji is distressed, he cuts first and asks second.

(And Rukia is quite fond of her limbs, thank you very much.)

-

She asks him, over warm dumplings and cold tea, why he trains so hard. It’s unnatural, even for Shinigami, to be so involved (in love) with combat. Other than Ziraki, but he doesn’t count.

“So why are you doing all this again?”

“I want to be Taichou.”

And this time, Rukia does not laugh. She keeps sipping at the bitter water and thinks.

-

“Wait.”

Rukia pauses and huddles in closer to her coat.

“Well, what?”

“Hang on a sec. I think I saw something back there.”

“What is it this time? A little-wittle squirrel? Damn those things. Why I don’t I clean its head right—”

“Shut up!”

“Then, what?”

“A Hollow…I think.”

“You think.”

She nods slow and anxiously. (Their first field mission had gone disastrously.) Rukia runs forward and prepares to attack.

-

Renji runs fast too but not as quick and smart as her. She moves like the wind, invisible and tangible and like a whipping gust, hits with full impact enough to kill.

-

The Hollow dies—purified—and she asks him something bizarre: Where do Hollows go? Do their souls disappear too?

He doesn’t answer, doesn’t know how.

Because, see, he wants to say, there is no nice way of putting this.

-

They are never assigned to a mission together again (Renji thinks Byakuya had something to do with this). And Renji bears him a grudge from that day on.

Only, Renji has acquired some lying talent now, and shows respect and reverence all too well. Second-nature, it grows and develops like a fetus kicking in the womb.

-

She downs the cup rapidly—flurries that he can barely make out.

“I’m leaving tomorrow, for I don’t know how long. Try not to miss me too much,” she says between big gulps.

Renji doesn’t reply (there’s no need).

-

Through whispers right before she steps into the inky nothingness, she promises him letters.

He never receives them.

-

Some weeks go by, and the burnt dusk is losing all its beauty and desires. It is snuffed out, eats itself apart, and still, it can send shivers across his arms. Still, Renji looks to the west every day and wonders when she’s coming back.