Fuck this shit.

It had been two days since I went to Ichigo's house. Every time I think about it, I can't help but feel so incredibly stupid for even making my way over there. Why the fuck would I do something like that? That damn orange hair has plagued my mind for weeks and it seems as if it isn't leaving anytime soon. I was so beyond tired of thinking of the kid, but my mind wouldn't let me do anything but remember. I had nightmares of finding Ichigo in his room over and over again.

I realized that showing up to the kid's house two days ago was a stupid idea as soon as his dad had shut the door in my face. Deep inside I had known that I needed to help Ichigo out, but even if I felt that way, ultimately it wasn't my choice. I went from not knowing this kid even existed to wanting to be all up in his business. It was so out of character that I didn't even know how to react. It was frustrating and discouraging, but I kept finding myself dreaming about orange hair and deep brown eyes.

Ever since I went to Ichigo's house, I've noticed that Renji had been avoiding me. It's not like we were long term friends in the first place. We had met at freshman orientation, ate lunch with each other occasionally, and took one class with one another last semester. I wouldn't have thought anything about not seeing him for a couple days had he not seen me waving across the hallway and then promptly turned around, walking in a different direction. The reaction was weird and made me feel incredibly insecure. It also made me wonder if he had talked to Ichigo and had heard what happened.

I felt stupid. No, I am stupid. I have no reason to butt into this kid's business. Kira was right, I can't fix everyone. I am in no place to go fixing people when I can't even fix myself.


I whipped my head around at the sound of someone calling my name. The small girl from the hospital was walking up to me. What was her name? Rukia? Her eyebrows were knitted together as she glared at me from her short stature. I may have had several inches on her, but in that moment I swear she could have eaten me alive. She looked livid, her purple eyes lit as they narrowed with her approach. My heart dropped into my stomach as questioned her motives for seeking me out. Luckily, I didn't need to wait long to find out.

"Leave him alone." Her voice was low and dipping with acidity.

My body tensed at the sound of her voice. "What?"

"You fucking heard me." Her eyes narrowed and the frown on her face made me feel like I was the last person on earth she wanted to talk to. "Ichigo doesn't need strangers like you coming around his house asking questions."

The words hurt, mostly because they were the same words I had been telling myself. The hurt that had entered my mind was quick and left me with a new emotion taking its place. "Are you fucking kidding me? Do you realize that if it hadn't been for me, your friend would be dead?"

I could see Rukia's body visibly stiffen as her eyes watered a bit, but the tears not daring to slip over the rims. "Fuck you Shuuhei. You don't know anything about Ichigo, so don't think that just because you've saved his life that you're entitled to anything from him."

Rukia didn't say anything as turned on the ball of her foot and stomped off. My shoulders slumped like I had been carrying the weight of the world on them. My heart and my head were so confused with what just happened. All I knew was that I was tired of people telling me that I had no right to ask questions. Sure I really did not know the kid, but it wasn't like I wasn't trying to understand. All I wanted were answers and I truly felt like I was never going to get them.

I hitched my forgotten messenger bag higher onto my shoulder as I made my way toward my dorm building. I walked to my room heated, slamming the door behind me, promptly waking up Kira who looked like he had fallen asleep on his bed while studying. Kira looked up at me with tired eyes as I threw my bag down onto my desk and made my way straight to my bed. He stayed silent until I landed straight forward into my bed. I let out a muffled yell into my pillow, trying to scream out all of my frustrations. Nothing in the past two weeks had gone as planned.

"Sounds like you had a tough day." His voice was quiet and calculated. Kira rarely saw any emotion out of me. I'm ninety-nine percent sure that he has no idea how to approach me.

"Today is shit." The words were muffled, but I knew he could hear them.

"It seems that this Ichigo kid really knows how to get a reaction out of you." I didn't say anything as I let out a sigh into my pillow; warming the surface and making my face heat up. "In the ten years I've known you, I've never seen you so…interested in something."

Kira was right. I hated it.

"His friend stopped me outside of the building just now." I pushed myself up to sit. I turned and crossed my legs in front of me as I leaned against the dorm's wall, "She said that I needed to leave Ichigo alone."

"Sounds about right." Kira looked down at his book. I glared at Kira, which he failed to recognized as his wrote something in his notebook. He bit the end of his pen before looking at me. He let out a sigh, "Shuu, as long as I've known you, you've gotten this complex that you need to help everyone and everything. Sometimes you need to realize that, not everyone wants that. You were lucky in your situation Shuu, not everyone is."

I rolled the thought in my head. I didn't want to admit that Kira was right. I was lucky. I was lucky to grow up with an adopted dad who was way better than any family I was blood related to. I was lucky to be plucked out of the orphanage when I was. I was lucky that Kensei gave me books to read, that he gave me clothes to wear, let me be friends with who I wanted, let me make mistakes and learn from them. I was blessed with a lot of luck; until I wasn't.

My eyes welled. I had to get out of the room. It was claustrophobic and silence that grew between Kira and I was louder than a jet plane. I didn't say anything as I stood up and picked up the bag I had only put down minutes before. I could hear Kira asking me where I was going, but I didn't say anything. I needed to leave. I let my feet lead me. I stared hard at the floor and tried to push the images from my head. The pool of blood, the sounds of sirens in the background, the grey hair that I had grown to love so much; a haunting scene that had made its way back into my life. My jaw clenched as I continued to walk.

I found myself in a park across the street from a convenience store. I sat on one of the benches that faced the street and leaned my head back so I was staring at the deep grey sky about me. Rain was on the way. I hated the rain. I brought a hand up to my right eye, to rub the tears that were daring to drip. My fingers brushed against the scars and I felt disgusted with myself. Why was this my life? What had I done to be treated this way? I kicked a rock that was on the floor, watching it skid away onto the asphalt.

My eyes widened at the site in front of me. Across the street was the head of orange I had been dreaming about for the past two weeks. His eyes were huge, the size of saucers, looking comical on his skinny face. There was another person with him, a young girl with a hair lighter than his. She was holding his hand, even though she looked old enough to have grown out of the habit. She was rattling off about something I couldn't hear, but she didn't matter to me. All I could focus one where the dopey brown eyes staring at me.

Ichigo turned to the girl to his side, leaning in to whisper something in her ear that I didn't catch. She looked up at me, startled when she realized that I had been watching them. She looked back Ichigo and nodded. She stole one more glance at me before taking the bags out of Ichigo's hands and making her way down the sidewalk. It wasn't until she was fully out of site that he spoke.

"Are you stalking me?" His voice was clear, despite being across the street.

I could feel my eyebrows come together as I frowned. I stood up from the bench, but didn't dare to make my way across the street. "No, why would you think that?"

"You showed up to my house and now you're here." He was speaking, but I couldn't get over how beautiful his orange hair looked in the setting sunlight. "I've told me friends about it. They said they'd take care of it."

I was distracted; shock and awe running threw my body. "I'm not stalking you. I'm just curious; I wanted some answers."

"What's there to be curious about? I was dying and you saved me. Did it ever occur to you that I didn't want to give answers?" The words were harsh and sounded like he was frustrated. "I'm tired of everyone wanting answers."

There was a weird look that flashed across his face. I couldn't tell if I liked it or not.

He was still standing across the street. His body seemed tense from where I was standing, as if was waiting to see if he need to flee. I didn't say anything. His eyes danced across my face as my throat caught whatever words were trying to force themselves out. I noticed how his brown orbs stayed trained on the right side of my face, a tell-all sign that he was staring at the noticeable blemish that was mapped down the length of my face. My heart hurt thinking about them. It was a distant memory, more of a dream than anything else. The three lines were the only proof that it was real.

There was the soft sound of shoes hitting pavement as he took a step of the curb and into the street, taking small steps towards me. When he was finally placed in front of me, I noticed for the first time that he was shorter than me by a couple of inches. I tried to catch his eyes, but they stayed trained on the scarred flesh. I closed my eyes when I saw his hand lifting. Suddenly there was a feeling of calloused fingers pressing against the marred skin. A small shudder ran through my spine as he cold fingers separate my bangs so that he could touch the scarring from the top. Three of his fingers started at my hairline before running down my forehead, eye, and down my cheek. He paused when he reached my chin, his fingers warming slightly as they accommodated to the heat emitting from my flushed face. When I realized he was making no notion to remove them, I slowly opened my eyes and caught his brown eyes immediately. We stared at each other, no words being exchanged as we mentally conversed.

My eyes darted to the right and caught onto something on his left wrist. My eyes narrowed slightly when I saw the raised flesh of the scar. His wrist and the part of the arm that was exposed was covered with scars, some deeper than others. The scarring seemed too pale on his slightly tanned skin, as if they were purposely popping out and mocking me. I growled to myself slightly, a protective edge making its way through my body for reasons that were still beyond me. Fear ran through my body as my mind instantly went back to the fateful night that we had met. It wasn't his first attempt. I closed my eyes again, not wanting to be reminded of how we had come together.

"Tell me about your scars." The words were quiet. I could feel Ichigo's thumb rubbing against one the lines.

It was a weird moment; standing in the middle of the sidewalk with some kid I didn't even know touching the most intimate part of my face. I opened my eyes and noticed how he was staring at me with fascination; staring at me with admiration. He was looking at the blemishes as if they were…beautiful, and not something that ruined whatever potential good looks I had inherited. I felt a slight wave of disgust rush over me. I was disgusted that he thought this was beautiful; disgusted at myself for hoping he thought they were beautiful. Ducking my head slightly, I grabbed onto his wrist and turned it over, exposing the lines that adorned his wrist to the world.

"Tell me about yours first."

A scowl etched onto his face as he tugged his hand away. This mouth turned downward in a fashion that I could tell was common. I didn't say anything. There was a challenge in the look in his eyes that I had to stand up against. His brown eyes dashed across my face. My skin heated up under his gaze. My body was going haywire with emotions. I wasn't sure what I was doing, it was a feeling I didn't like. Despite the scowl on his face, Ichigo looked perfectly fine. He didn't look like he was feeling any emotion. His body wasn't betraying him like mine was.

Ichigo finally tore his wrist from my grasp, his eyes moving from my face and down to the ground. "I don't know what you want from me. Even if I answered your questions, it wouldn't do anything."

The words sounded rehearsed. Like it was something he was so used to saying, it made me wonder if he was seeing a therapist. The silence between us grew and I just continued to stand there was the words I was looking for kept getting caught in my throat. All I saw was orange. I couldn't read the emotions on his face and it frustrated me greatly. What am I doing here?

"You don't know that. You don't know me. You don't know what I'm capable of understanding." I tried to make my words sound convincing. But who was I trying to convince, me or him?

"You're not the first to try."

"That doesn't mean I can't."

"You're a stranger."

"A fresh pair of eyes."

"I'm so tired."

"Me too."

Everything felt so weird. It felt like I was drowning in a pool. An immense pressure formed on my chest as I waited for him to respond. He didn't say anything as he turned to walk down the path the little girl took earlier. As he neared the corner she had turned, the little girl stepped out, her hand outstretched as she waited for him to reach her. He didn't look back at me as he walked away. He just took the girls hand and followed her around the corner.

I stood there a second longer, contemplating what just happened. My heart was pounding in my chest. The conversation wasn't long. Hell, it didn't really go anywhere. But he spoke to me and that was progress. I took one last look at the corner he disappeared behind before turning around walking in the opposite direction. I willed my feet to remember the path they had taken to get here as I made my way back to the university.

"At least he spoke to me."


Sorry it's short, writing in first person is emotionally draining. I feel too much of Shuuhei's emotions when I write this and it gets hard to write long chapters for it. I hope you guys enjoyed it. I'm sorry if it's shit, but it's an update that I've needed to get out. I hope I get back to this soon. It's always nice to write something dark when I have two relatively happy stories that are currently out.

I'd love a review. I hope you guys found this interesting.