[Bleach] The Beautiful Lie – Crush

Ichimaru has daddy issues. Which is simultaneously cute and weird for Renji to think about. Weird cause it’s Ichimaru, and weird because Renji thinks it’s cute. And weird because Renji actually thinks about Ichimaru now which just tops off the scale of what the fuck his life has become.

Yeah, he spends a lot of time with Ichimaru now. If time is what he’s supposed to call it. They don’t measure it anymore. There’s no rise and fall of the sun to follow anymore. Nor is there a clock with sweeping arms to watch, or digital numbers to roll forward. There’s just waiting. And talking.

Lots of talking.

With Ichimaru – no, not Ichimaru. He’s Gin now. About fifty conversations ago, they’d decided that all the formality stuff had to go. They weren’t enemies anymore. They didn’t hate each other. All that negative, turbulent crap had kinda wilted in this afterlife, this half-existence, gray, formless place.

Gin’s actually not half-bad, now that Renji can look at him without remembering he’s the asshole that almost killed Rukia and put his captain in the fourth division for a week. For one thing, Gin’s got a wicked laugh. Whatever half-assed, mocking chuckle he’d used before, it’s gone. Now he laughs like he means it, and somehow, that always makes Renji want to laugh, too. Especially when they start talking about stupid stuff.

They are more alike than Renji has ever realized. Apart from the obvious, he means. That sense of similarity makes it even easier to spend time with Gin. Much easier than Renji could have ever expected. If someone had told him, years ago, that one day he’d spend whatever constitutes his afterlife next to Ichimaru Gin and he’d enjoy it, Renji would have had to give them a taste of Zabimaru.

But in the here and now, things are different. He gets along with Gin. He talks to Gin. He likes Gin.

Renji’s mind stutters to a halt. Huh. Well, that’s certainly unexpected.

It is also, of course, the moment when a slim finger pokes him in the side. “Ya gonna play sometime today, Renji?” Gin asks, sounding both amused and curious.

Renji blinks out of his wandering thoughts, and refocuses on the game at hand – which Gin has acquired by means Renji finds it safer not to ask about. “Yeah, I am,” he says, and tries to ignore the heat in his face.

Huh. Apparently, being dead did not necessarily mean the end of life. Or whatever. Renji could still blush – and did – while Gin could – and did – chuckle at him for it. Damn.

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