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16 August 2006 @ 02:19 am
[Fic] BLEACH- Closure (PG-13, 1/1)  
Fandom: Bleach
Title: Closure
Author: G.Zan
Spoilers For: None; basic Bleach info is needed, though.
Raiting: PG-13
Word Count: 1509
Character(s)/Pairing: Ishida Uryuu, Ishida Ryuuken; lightly implied Ichigo/Ishida.
Summery: "It's to pay respect to the lost one. It's to give the family of the deceased a final chance to say goodbye, to give closure."
Disclaimer: I don't own 'em; wish I did, though.
Notes/Warnings: UN-BETAED. ANGST ALERT! This was written after one of my kittie's babies died, from exactly the problem listed in the fic. I needed, just as the title and summery said, closure. This is the best way I know how.
Feedback would be greatly appreciated.



He stared down at the tiny body held delicately in his smaller hands, eyes wide behind his glasses. It was wrapped carefully in one of the good towels that always hung in the kitchen, the tiny package stiff and half-cold.

He blinked back tears, sniffing a little as he snuck through the kitchen and out through the sliding glass door leading to the back yard. He had to glance back over his shoulder to make sure that his father hadn't heard, to make sure that he hadn't woken anyone else in the household with the loud grating noise that the door made as it slid open on a worn track.

He picked his way carefully down off the deck, past the rarely-used grill and down onto the well-kept and prized green lawn. As he knelt down under his favorite tree, sniffing yet again, he remembered his grandfather's words from a few days earlier.

They'd been sitting together on the roof of the small flat that his grandfather owned, enjoying the late afternoon and having tea. There had been a pause in conversation, and a noise from down below had brought him closer to the railing to look down over a small family, the mother holding her daughter while the father carried a towel-wrapped bundle. The bundle was stiff and looked rather heavy, legs sticking out from under the edge at an odd angle.

"What're they doing, grandfather?" He asked, looking up at the kind old man who'd become his sensei.

"Their dog died," he explained, laying a gentle hand on his grandson's shoulder, a sad look on his face as he watched the family load into the small car, the mother and daughter getting into the front while the father got into the back, still holding onto the bundle he'd carried out of the building. "And now they're going to burry him, probably in his favorite park."

"Why?" he was confused, now. He'd never really got 'burying' someone. Especially since the body was just a shell; the person's soul would go on to Soul Society, anyway, so why worry about the body?

"Why what?" the old man asked back, raising his wrinkled eyebrows curiously. "Why bury him?" The little boy could only nod in response. Souken smiled sadly as he returned his gaze back down to the retreating car, going slower than it usually did.

"It's to pay respect to the lost one. It's to give the family of the deceased a final chance to say goodbye, to give closure," he explained to his grandson, ruffling the boy's black hair. Wide blue eyes stared back up at him, before he glanced back down at the street below, thinking over what his grandfather had said.

He remembered earlier that day, taking the kitten he'd brought home, having found it and a few others abandoned in a box in the alleyway by his house, to his father, worried at the odd sound it was making. It wasn't coming from the kitten's mouth, and it sounded painful. He actually remembered the sadness, so rare in his normally emotionless father, that had shown in his eyes as he'd gently told his son that the kitten probably wouldn't make it through the night, that there was something wrong with its lungs. He hadn't understood, hadn't wanted to, but now he somehow wished he had.

He knelt down carefully, the soft dew of the grass seeping into the knees of his pajama pants as he carefully began to dig a hole big enough for the kitten, the tiny wrapped bundle lying in his lap, stiff and still. He sniffed again, blinking furiously to dispel the sudden blurriness, but unable to as wet warmth seeped from his eyes and down his cheeks. He hated crying; it made him feel like a little girl. But he was going to miss the little kitten; he'd really enjoyed its company the past few days when there hadn't been anyone home and he'd been unable to see his grandfather.

"Uryuu?" He looked up, blinking wide eyes at the man who stood in the doorway, dirt caught in his fingernails and clinging to his hands. The doctor stepped outside, squinting in the faint light down at his son, a frown on his face. "What are you doing out here so late?"

He couldn't answer; his throat was too tight and his tongue too thick to move in his mouth, his jaw locked in place as another sniff escaped him.

"Uryuu?" The voice turned sharper now, and, clad in nothing more than his own pajamas, his father came swiftly down into the yard, following in his son's footsteps. He came to a stop over him, staring at the beginnings of the hole and the barely-visible white bundle being half hidden by Uryuu's arm. His face softened a little, the sadness that had been there earlier seeping again into his eyes. "Let me help," he said softly, using his own hands, hands that had been carefully manicured and untouched until now, to help widen and deepen the hole. Once it was big enough, the parcel was gently laid inside, towel and all, and covered by the displaced roots, grass and dirt and then gently patted down.

Staring down at his dirt covered hands, he couldn't stop the sniff that turned into a sob as the world around him blurred once again. He'd been grateful for the awkward arm that had gone around his shoulders, and for the shoulder that, usually so cold, was now warm and inviting his tears.

****

It was years later, now. He still hadn't forgotten his grandfather's words.

Not when his grandfather had been buried. Not when his mother had been buried. And certainly not now.

It was raining, which was certainly apt. There weren't many of them there; a few of his father's colleagues, brown nosers who only wanted a piece of the Ishida name. And then there was the young man beside him. An unwavering presence that had been by his side since the battle that had taken both of their fathers and many of their friends' lives. This was the last of the funerals, the last of the goodbyes and the last of the closures.

It was ironic that the priest was spouting words of 'almighty God' and 'eternal peace in Heaven'. They'd seen this supposed 'almighty God', and he hadn't been *that* almighty. They'd looked down into the jaws of this so-called 'eternal peace in Heaven' and had mourned because of its false promises. Ironic because his father hadn't believed a word of it, had only believed in what he could see and work with- his own two hands and the power they'd wielded. And now his body was being buried, his soul long-gone, lost like so many others in the jaws of a hollow, protecting a young girl who hadn't known what was going on; an innocent, who had never known the horrors of fighting and the final death that came when one was eaten by a hollow.

"Amen," the priest finally said, ending his sermon and moving away from the head of the grave.

He did what he was supposed to, played the silent part of the grieving son, shaking hands and making nice, listening to empty words of empty condolences, eyes coldly looking past the brown nosers and to those who actually had known him, though none of them could have been considered Ryuuken's 'friends'. Finally, the last one was gone, leaving him with his hand still slightly outstretched, grasping air and staring into nothing, as though waiting for something that would never come.

"Uryuu," that presence, the young man who was young no longer, called to him gently, a hand on his shoulder gently bringing him back to the present. "Let's go home, hm?"

All he could do was nod and follow, carefully tucked under the orange haired man's arm, head bowed and staring at the hand that had been the first to lay dirt on the coffin holding his fathers dead, cold body.

"Why do we bury people, Ichigo?" He asked softly, hoping that he could answer. Because while he remembered his grandfather's words, he needed to hear them again. From a new source who knew the pain he was feeling, who understood why he was asking.

"I suppose it's to say goodbye," Ichigo answered, and if he hadn't been holding the umbrella they were walking under, he probably would have scratched at his chin, an old nervous habit always made new every time he did it. "It's to give us something to talk to, a physical link to those long past so that we can continue on with living."

He had to smile at the answer, feeling the weight of doubt and pain lift a little off of him. It would take years, or perhaps an eon, to get totally rid of this dreadful pain but at least he had an answer for a question that had been plaguing him for so long. "Thank you, Ichigo."

"You're always welcome."
 
 
Current Mood: sadsad
Current Music: Rei Fu - Life is Like a Boat
 
 
 
nehellania on August 17th, 2006 05:09 pm (UTC)
Aww. This is very nicely written Gwen. Sorry about your kitten :(