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07 July 2012 @ 01:37 am
Learn to Cry [Starrk/Lilynette]  
Title: Learn to Cry
Pairing: Starrk/Lilynette
Fandom: Bleach
Genre: Backstory, slight Angst, Bittersweet, Romance...err if you squint
Rating: PG
Word Count: 770

A/N: For bleach_contest week #77 -- dark. Selfcest, maybe???

Learn to Cry

He brought her to life as he severed his own.

Loneliness was cruelty apotheosized. Darker than hate, deeper than hell, loneliness killed with beautiful lethargy. And he –

Had been alone for so long.

She was not what he expected. The scene, the stage, the entire culmination had gone askew, stumbling off. Memory bad, half absconded, he couldn't remember the finer details. Except, it had been empty and cold.

Harsh gasps and crouched low to the ground. She looked weak and pathetic – perfect. Unsteady and disoriented, she rose to her feet.

Starrk asked for her (and their) name.


He tossed her a tattered rag masquerading as clothing. Suspicious, she scrutinized it carefully but accepted.

Staring dead-forward, he began to walk east. Knew that she was right behind, gaining pace.


For years, perhaps centuries, they wandered the barren badlands of Hueco Mundo. The other hollows still avoided him (now them). But it wasn't so bad, not like before.

At least we have each other.

And together, they were: always alone yet not.

This was for the best.

I know.

Because they shared a camaraderie (a kismet) unlike anyone else. Microcosmic, it chained them with a force that can't be imitated, can't be undone.


In the inky, damp caves at the far-thrown side of the southern plains, they collapsed to rest.

She curled up against him. Jabbing ribs with her sharp, little fingers, Lilynette silently ordered him to move over. He sighed – annoyed – but obeyed. She could be so ferocious with her demands.

Gently, he slid an arm under her and brought them closer (together, forever). She growled like a rabid kitten. Tucking her head under his chin, Starrk subdued both of them to sleep.

He knew (though she would never say) that she was afraid. Feared the night.

It was almost funny because here, in Hueco Mundo, there was only night.

But she had him.

And that was enough. He will guarantee it.


Lilynette became more and more brazened. Alive, jittery, and ablaze, she ran circles around his head and drove him nearly mad. She had the feral energy of stars colliding. He was no match (couldn't catch up).

"C'mon, lazy-ass. Get up."

By splintering in two, she had drained all his vitality and might away. And so, she grew resilient while he dwindled down to listless disgust and ennui.

But when he kissed her, he stole some of her strength back.

Starrk…what're you…what am I?

What are we.


Aizen said that finding them was destiny. But Starrk knew it was nothing grander than a bleak twist of fate.

And whenever Aizen inspected them with a menacing hunger in his eye, Starrk always pulled her back before a second too late.

Lilynette liked to bite, and Aizen liked to bait.


She taught him a thousand tricks and games, more than any god ever could.

But she never taught him how to cry. She kept that for herself.


Crude and nimble, she fought with a vengeance he could never master.

Friend or foe, it mattered not to her. Because this – combat and destruction – was necessary (what we do) for survival. It was in their nature, Aizen explained. And it'd be foolish (suicidal) to waste such a magnificent gift.

"Truly, the two of ya are rare. So don' go off killin' yourselves prematurely, got it?"

Lilynette hissed at Ichimaru Gin, loathed that one the most.

Instinctively, Starrk held out an arm and blocked her from attaching him. Ichimaru was unpredictable, coy like an adder feigning sleep. And she was too rash for her own good.


Lilynette took the last bit of light when she died. Left him alone to contend with the shadows. And now, it was his turn to fall. But there was no one left to try catching him.

No one watching, waiting.

Starrk thought he felt something wet on his cheek. Smelling vague of salt and bitter pine, it vanished faster than it appeared. Frantic, he brushed the nuisance away – nothing there. Stupid (she was right).

Espada didn't cry, didn't know how.

It must've been a piece of debris from the battle. A sliver of ash mixed with sweat.

Tilting his head back slightly (the pain seared through his skull), he looked up. The shinigami had already faded out. Snuffed, lingering behind only a trail of smoke. The world spun in fifty angles and a hundred degrees. His sight was failing him, and soon, he'd only see black. And then, in a few minutes, he would die.

And see her again.

And together again.

youkai_girl: GinAizenyoukai_girl on July 7th, 2012 11:18 pm (UTC)
Niiiice. Loved the twists and turns in this one.
Y U no auto-translate?lye_tea on July 9th, 2012 09:46 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)

I really, REALLY like these two together...err, if it wasn't super-obvious already....
thiefofblood: Yuugi: Crying [FeelsSoHopeless]thiefofblood on July 9th, 2012 11:01 am (UTC)
Oh gosh, this was such a good read. I've never read anything with those two, before - despite the fact I've adored them.

Loved the description of their behavior as well as the "unspoken" shared things between them.

And, of course, rather sad, too.

But, very well done.
Y U no auto-translate?lye_tea on July 10th, 2012 01:45 pm (UTC)
Aww, thanks. I don't know why they didn't grab my attention when I first read the manga. But after seeing the episode on their battle with Kyouroku and Ukitake, I immediately took a liking to them.
thiefofblood: Magical Girl Xindathiefofblood on February 20th, 2013 01:14 pm (UTC)
You're welcome ;) I'm glad that they did, since you were able to share this :)
YX: It was the Music that made us (Tatsuki)sharikqah on July 10th, 2012 10:16 am (UTC)
First impression I get when I read this: they're like mad animals. Partly I think because of the combination of words like "cave", "bite/bait", "hunger" and your animal similes (or is it just for Gin). It works really well, because it makes Stark and Lilynette's relationship damn fatalistic. Your story reminds me of an image of these two characters: a shark and remora, constantly living symbiotically off each other.

Personally I felt that Stark's reliance on Lilynette only becomes clear at the end. Even though you feature them almost completing each other's actions in almost every section, their character differences make them seem two separate characters. However I'm not sure if you're trying to hint that they can also be seen as two extremes of one personality.
Y U no auto-translate?lye_tea on July 10th, 2012 01:44 pm (UTC)
I think in a lot of ways the arrancars (hollows in general) remind me of animals. I have this weird notion that Hueco Mundo is like a colder version of the Sahara desert. (And Gin definitely contributes with his creepiness, love that man.)

I do think they complement each other by representing extremes. And as extremes, it makes sense that they would compete with each other (with them/him-selves???). Actually, I find it fascinating that they are supposed to be one entity but not really harmonious -- least on the surface.

Anyway, thank you for the review. :)
aurawindaurawind on July 11th, 2012 10:14 pm (UTC)
This was honestly gorgeous. Thank you so much for writing this story <3
Y U no auto-translate?lye_tea on July 11th, 2012 11:07 pm (UTC)
Thank *you* for reading. :)
Between the Mountains and the Sea: Bleach GinRangikuanat_astarte on July 13th, 2012 02:51 am (UTC)
Wow, this is gorgeous...
drabbleandfluff: Bleach// Renji smiledrabbleandfluff on July 14th, 2012 10:32 pm (UTC)
Starrk has always been my favorite Arrancar, I'm particularly disappointed that Kubo elected to keep Harribel and her fraccion alive but decided to forego with Starrk and Lilynette. Then I have this bizarre thought that KT realized how internally depressed and lonely Starrk was and decided to put the poor guy out of his misery and let him rest in peace after all. :(

I like the self-cest. ^__^, it reminds me that when in battle with Shunsui, Starrk felt the need to knuckle into Lilynette's gunbutt!!
but... *sniffs*... in the end.... ;__;

why isn't your entry in the running? :)
Y U no auto-translate?: v said solye_tea on July 15th, 2012 02:38 am (UTC)
I just love Starrk so much. Of all the Arrancars, he has the most dimensions. And I agree that in a way, it was necessary for him to die. But ugh, still, so sad.

Oh god! That scene was hilarious! I mean, come on, it practically made them canon. Heh.

I'm only going to enter if we receive fewer than three entries. But thankfully, participation is picking up. :)
it's green and tastes like licorice.: booksrionarch on July 17th, 2012 01:18 am (UTC)
Lily, brave little girl. Goes to show time times tough love can get you anywhere.