Drabble written for 12 days of torture on the theme: guilt trip.
It had been strange, at first, to be suddenly bereft of all his spiritual power. He had gotten used to having shinigami powers, to the brief tingling of his own reiatsu in the back of his spine. The wounds Byakuya had given him had nearly healed by the time school was out, and he found that by the time the last of the red was fading from his scars he had already grown accustomed to the absence his power. He tried not to wonder if that meant Rukia had regained hers, and did his best to return to “normal” life.
It wasn’t really any of his business, after all. He wasn’t supposed to be a soul reaper in the first place. It had all been a mistake, and now Soul Society was setting things right. Hadn’t Rukia said that once? “The laws of Soul Society exist to protect human lives and souls.” He was certain she had. It was better just to let them deal with it. And Inoue had been right, all of Rukia’s friends and family must be in Soul Society. Surely, she would rather be with them than living in a gigai in his closet. Surely they would be happy to have her returned. Surely they would see her exempt from the death sentence. Wouldn’t they? Her brother seemed powerful enough, there was no way that kind of man would let his little sister be charged so harshly. Not a little sister like Rukia. So there was no reason, really, for him to go charging after her. She didn’t belong in his world. She never had. He would just ignore the Rukia shaped hole in the world and fill it with other things. Normal things.
When Tatsuki and Inoue asked him if he wanted to watch the August fireworks with them he agreed to go, because it seemed like a normal thing to do. If they were a little quieter than was usual for the three of them, it was probably only the heat. They laid themselves out a blanket along the side of the river, away from the crowds, and watched as flower after flower of light exploded just over the city. It wasn’t until after the last spark had trickled down and the air around them had begun to cool that Inoue broke the silence, her voice stretched thin like a reed about to snap.
“I wish Kuchiki-san had been here to watch them with us, too.”