A Walk in the Woods Fic

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    It burns, it burns...Why is so painful?Why love is tearing me apart?

    'Oi, Renji! What's with that weird face of you?'

    Abarai Renji, vice-captain of the 6th squad, turned to look at the small shinigamiwho just addressed him. Kuchiki Rukia. Both of them were having a walk in thewoods. Now that Rukia got promoted as a lieutenant, they could spend moretime together than before. She was so proud of her new position, and he hadfun, teasing her, for being so noisy about such an unimportant thing.

    'What do you mean by 'weird', Rukia!' he shouted. 'It is my face!', remarked.

    'The hell it is' she said, narrowing her eyes, which were piercing at him, likeamethyst daggers. 'Tell me, why you looked so concerned? There's somethingwrong with you?' she asked, seating down under a huge tree, and inviting himto seat next to her.

    He hesitated. There were so many things he wanted to tell her, but... Hecouldn't. He wasn't brave enough to tell her why he was suffering like hell justfor the fact of being close to her.She seemed unaware of the love he was feeling for her.

    Renji leaned against the tree, his hands on the back of his head, acting as if

    nothing was perturbing him.

    'Even if is none of my business, I'm your friend and I worry about you, Renji. Sojust keep that in mind. You can count on me'Rukia was smiling at him while speaking, holding his knee.Renji glanced at the small hand resting on his knee, then looked away.She hasn't pretended it, he knew that, but, every word she had spoken out,was like a direct punch in the face.'I'm your friend' was comparable to 'I don't love you the way you do, sorry'.

    He felt so much rage and anger coming out from him, like if they were

    something material and palpable, not just emotions.

    'Actually there is something bothering me, Rukia... Is it truth that you are inlove with that hot-head of Ichigo?'

    He was barely aware of what he had just said. The pain, the anger and all thatnegative feelings which were burning inside of him, weren't allowing him tobehave like he used to.

    Rukia couldn't give credit to her ears. Was that moron really asking her such astupid question? What the hell was wrong with him, for God's shake?

    'You must be joking' she said, coldly.

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    'I'm not, Rukia. Is just a question. Are you afraid of answer it?'

    'Do I look like a person who falls in love with human teenagers, idiot?' shequestioned back, losing her patience.

    'I dunno, Rukia, that's why I'm asking you. It's a rumour and I wanna know what

    you have to say, that's all' he lied, shamelessly.

    'Fine' Rukia said, standing up from the ground. 'Please, talk to me when you getback your common sense, if you don't mind'. And she left, heading to herdivision.

    That stupid braindead of Renji... How did he dare? She was worrying about him,and all he had to say was that he suspected she was in love with Ichigo... DamnRenji. Didn't he notice that the only one she loved was just him? Wasn't clearenough to him? Did he ever notice her efforts to help him through anything heneeded, and to stay close to him all the time she could?

    They have been together almost their entire life. Maybe she wasn't in love withhim since then, but nowadays she was, and he insisted in behave like a moroneverytime she planned to confess her feelings.He was pushing her away from him with that kind of behaviour, and he seemedunconscious of that... Or perhaps he wasn't, and he was acting like this to getrid of her, aware of her feelings and aware of his impossibility to reciprocate.

    That thought was so dreadful that she had to stop her walking to hold her heartwith both hands. Her eyes were burning, but she fought against her tears, not

    allowing them to spill down her face.

    'Rukia' she heard on her back. She didn't want to, but Renji turned her around,grabbing her by her tiny shoulders. 'Rukia, you...' Renji could notice her wateryeyes, and his heart skipped a beat.

    Rukia was about to continue her way, but suddenly her face was buried inRenji's chest. He had lifted her and hugged her like he'd never done it before.

    'I'm so sorry, Rukia, I didn't mean to hurt you' he apologised, still holding hertightly. 'I was jealous, that's why I asked you that. I'm a jerk, I know, I'm so

    stupid... I dunno why I behave like this with you, I dunno, cause I truly love youand I don't want to make you suffer, Rukia...'

    Rukia's head raised, her widened eyes met Renji's gaze, and he got slightlyblushed.'I...I didn't... I was...' he mumbled, releasing her.

    Rukia stepped back and stared at him.'Do you love me, Renji?' she asked simply.

    Renji was about to respond, but he got cut by some official's voice callingeveryone out.

    '... all Vice-captains and lieutenants of all divisions, please head to the first

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    division...'

    Renji and Rukia looked at each other with frustration.

    'So here it comes. Time to go back to karakura, I guess' stated Rukia, whileturning to go to the first division, as they were told to. Duties were first...

    Besides, she wasn't sure now if she wanted to learn Renji's answer... What if hesays no? That would affect her so much that she probably won't be able tofocus on future coming battles, so... Next time.

    Renji watched her tiny back as she was walking away. They have been so closeto confess their feelings, but now... they had things to fix up in the real world,so...

    'I've been waiting for you an eternity, what are a few weeks compared to that?'he thought.

    Next time, Rukia...Next time.