Rangiku: Remainder, Reminder
Rukia: Ray of Light
Don Kanonji: This is my HERO face!
Ryuuken: What Must Be Done
IchiRuki: Without Words
IshiHime: We Are as Angels
GinRan: Lie to Me
Isshin and Masaki
Renji x Tatsuki
Ikkaku x Nemu
Chad x Nel
Byakuya x Skilly-n-Duff
And, because I've given you nothing else constructive this week, here's Grisaille Chapter 3!
Character(s): Kuchiki Byakuya, OC
Chapter 3 Title: It Never Rains
Rating: T Blood, Gore
Summary: A Byakuya fangirl learns the very, very hard way not to wish upon a star.
Links to chapter 1:community.livejournal.com/colorfulgreys/3
Aand to chapter 2: http://community.livejournal.com/colorfulgreys/3331.html
It Never Rains
"It's my fault everyone will die."
Kurosaki Ichigo, Death and the Strawberry.
Much could be said about the trek through Epcot to Cami's car none of it pleasant or important. It was wet, I was miserable, my Byakuya "backpack" was basically comatose, and I'm pretty sure my contract not to talk about Disney's backstage area is still binding even after death. I tried to keep my posture upright despite adding on 500 pounds or whatever he weighed. This made for some...strain. While pulling his arms tighter over my shoulders, I sent up a few silent prayers that my old hernia from back in the good ol' high school days wouldn't pop back open or get new friends. The storm was actually helpful at this point-Cami and Niki were huddled under my umbrella just ahead. They'd seemed to buy that I wanted to walk in the rain. (Since they'd seen me run around barefoot during the thunderstorm our first day here, I don't think they thought twice about it.) There was only one really dicey part that had me worried; the security check. As employees we had to let the backstage guard check our belongings before entering or leaving. Slipping off my real backpack while keeping Byakuya upright was a trick most people would've paid to see. Haha. But, I made it through. They usually stopped you to look through your bags of merchandise and since I'd left mine behind (Crap) with my backpack (Double Crap) I passed through quickly. At least my id was still on my lanyard.
After the typical cliche eternity, the car was finally in sight. Then it was in sight for another one of those eternity things as we trekked through yet more of the drowning rain. Why are the Disney parking lots so HUGE? Niki and Cami were understandably rushing. I hastened as best I could, thinking fondly of carefree days when I would run ahead and beat them to the car. Pft. Yeah, like that was going to happen. I geared up to try a burst of speed and nearly face planted when Byakuya stood on his own two feet.
I staggered, jumped forward, spun around, and froze. He shook his head, eyes closed tight against the rain. I had a wonderful moment of breathlessness again before he staggered into me and collapsed again. My back popped in 3 places. (and it felt like his weight tripled. Just saying.) Well...that was a good sign, right? I wondered. Í mean, he's still alive, right? Right? By the time I'd regained my balance and re-situated the awkward carrying situation, Cami was in the driver's seat and Niki was opening the rear door.
"WAIT!" I shrieked. "I want the backseat!"
"Megan, you usually squeal 'shotgun' when we're a hundred feet from the car." Niki said.
"Well...yeah." No use denying the truth. "But I want the backseat tonight." Byakuya was slipping and with both friends watching, I couldn't hoist him back up. Somehow I managed to catch and pin his arms around my waist making it look like I was just randomly clasping my hands behind my back. (Byakuya!fannypack iz fashion tell ur freindz) Niki slid easily into the front seat. I didn't have quite so much fun getting into the back while dragging him in behind me. It was hard to find a handhold. He was slippery from rain and blood. I was SO grateful for the darkness as I hooked both hands through what was left of his belt and heaved. He made really, really painful noises. Bit more then groans, not quite crying, and DEFINITELY heart wrenching. No more signs of him waking up again, though. I couldn't decide if that was good or not.
"Hey, wanna start up some music?" I asked. I needed a distraction while I tried to arrange a basically dead body in a more comfortable position.
"Go ahead and pick." She passed me back the ipod. I quickly scrawled through the menu, picking a band with loads of base and drums and screaming.
I couldn't tell the difference between where he was cut and bleeding or just covered in blood. I tried my best to be delicate, and he must have been unconscious, but he still whimpered. (Fangirl rose up once more and I didn't have the strength to beat her down) I got his feet on the floor, his head in my lap, and the rest of him on the seat by the time we reached the highway. Sighing with as much silence as I could manage, I leaned back against the seat for a minute and closed my eyes. There was chatter from the front which I joined in with a few times, but mostly I listened to Byakuya trying to breathe. NOT the most relaxing sound in the world. Went something like this-
1. A very long, shuddereing, uneven gasp.
3. Quick and gurgling exhale.
4. repeat 1.
5. double length of 2
6. repeat step 2
7. repeat step 5
8. Finally, FINALLY exhale
It was a 30 minute drive from Epcot to the interns' housing complex and I've never spent a more stressful half hour. (despite the fact I was stroking his hair. Don't judge me.) I was holding my own breath in sympathy most of the time and hyperventilating the rest. I mean, what now! My inner fangirl had long since passed out (wuss) and the rest of me was facing a rather serious mess. So I'd dragged a fictional character from a lake to the car. Big whoop! Where was I going to keep him? What did I expect to happen next? (fangirl raised her head long enough to gasp out "trueee loooove" ) How was he going to react? How would I hide him? What was he fighting and would it come BACK for him? Why did my stomach still cramp like the worst week of the month? How...
...how did I get out of the lake?
Goosebumps ran up and down my arm. I promised you a cliffhanger to start this chapter, remember? I forgot to add this in. Well, it was a security guard asking me what I was doing past the safety ropes, and I was panicking and...I can't remember. I honestly cannot remember what happened there. Um...the guard said "Excuse me miss, what are you doing?" and then- Blank. Real life cliffhanger that never gets solved. Creeped out? I was. Still am. That's a good ten minute chunk of my memory MISSIING. I don't know how I got him past the rope, what I said to Cami and Niki to convince them to leave the park, why I even decided taking him to my apartment was a GOOD idea.
First things first, Megan. I told myself. Finish getting him home. Then you can figure out what to do next. When you've run out of things to do next, you may then panic. Deal?
That's the moment where Cami parked the car and I forgot to try and remember what I'd forgotten. I haven't thought of that gap in time until THIS moment, when I've apparently forgotten it once again...um. Well, it can't be that important! Back to the story!
Since it was after 9 and she lived in another complex, Cami and her wonderful people-mover couldn't pass the security gate. This meant Niki, me and Byakuya had to get out here. Niki's building was fairly close to the front-after showing her card to the guard, she had maybe 100 feet to walk until home.
Remember in Disney's Cinderella when the mice have to get that ridiculously heavy key to dear old Cindy locked in the tower? They drag and pull and push and drag the thing up a flight of marble stairs. Jaq tells Gus "Lookit! Almost there!" and poor, poor fat Gus looks up to see an endless wooden, splintery spiral staircase still waiting. Guess who can sympathize with him? My building was in the far corner of the property, by the fitness center. And by far corner, I mean you could see the place where the high iron gate with nice barbed wire along the top intersected with the lovely trees providing the west wall. Refastening my Byakuya!fannypack, I went through my 2nd security check of the night, smiling wide and walking fast as I had only seconds to hold up my id before losing my grip.
More unimportant, uninteresting walking that I actually remember every second of, unlike the other. (seriously, that's going to bug me.) The rain slowed from a downpour to a drizzle before giving up for the night. Luckily, this was one of the times I had remembered my key. I carefully let Byakuya slide to the ground while I dug into my pocket. Even though our apartment had 4 beds, only three girls had moved in. The other two were in a room together and I'd lucked out to get one to myself. None of us worked the same hours and it wasn't at all unusual not to see Nicole or Ralynne for days at a time. I hoped this was one of those days as I hooked my arms through his and hoisted, banging the door into the wall as I dragged him over the threshold. Passing through the bathroom on the way to my bedroom, I tried and failed to get the switch with an elbow. Fate also chose this moment to let me trip over a shoelace and fall on my butt AGAIN, this time cracking my tailbone on the tile floor. For a second, I thought about just leaving him there. Then I realized how awkward things would get if he regained consciousness when I had to pee so he was drug the final stretch into my white walled, green-carpeted fortress of solitude. Don't get me wrong, it was fantastic to have a huge bathroom to myself and the spare bed was a wonderful spare shelf but at night...sorry, I'm whining. More story! Despite living in this room for almost a month, I had yet to buy hangers. All of my Sunday clothes and business attire lay in rainbows on the empty bed up against the left wall.
Since I couldn't even reach out for the light switch, I had no hope of sweeping my nice things out of the way. With a final grunt from both of us, Byakuya collapsed onto the spare bed. The super comfy, extra expensive mattress (note:sarcasm) groaned louder then either I or the squad six captain had the entire trek back. A few more pushes from me, and he was laying flat on his back, more blood already spreading outward in dark stains. (Candy to whomever guesses the quote: "Who would have thought the old man to have so much blood in him?" I'm serious. Candy!) I winced my way over to my bed, swiping my pillow and small afghan. Besides the butterfly sheets covering my mattress, these were the only bedding I had. Pausing to yank off my prized blue and green tie dye pillowcase, I draped the afghan over him and carefully set the pillow under his head. For a moment, I almost laughed that I cared more about that stupid, stupid tie dye case then I did about the nice half of my wardrobe. Moment passed quickly because then the "Ow, Tired!" hit me all at once.
My muscles began some sort of sick, twitching victory dance as I let myself bellyflop on the floor. I'd done it. Trying to slow my panting gasps, I just streeeeeetched out my aching arms, abs and back. And calves. Oh, and I think I had shinsplints too. PLUS my butt hurt, but that was probably from falling down. One big inhale, and I rolled onto my back, looking over at the no-longer-spare bed as I ignored more stomach pains.
A yellow light pulsed outside; the security golf-cart, pargo thingy making it's endless nighttime rounds. In the dim flashes, I contemplated exactly who and what was lying a few feet away. The pain and grossness of the past forty minutes went a long way in silencing fangirl. Alrighty then. Now what? Fantastic nerd and dutiful Girls Camp Junior Leader that I was, first aid was not an unknown territory. It was, however, limited to things like burns and broken arms. First aid says "Don't move the victim, stop the bleeding, and wait for help." Phail. Byakuya was gashed open. Slashed open. Cut waaaaay open with a SWORD. Across his chest, a few ribs were showing. I had no idea what to do about that! All of the serious medical training I had basically came from M*A*S*H reruns and my "House M.D." obsession. He'd ended the fight in a bad way and I'm POSITIVE that Iron Man Marathon I went through to get him back here only made it worse. What if...what if he died? That would sort of crush my fangirl hopes in the "Greatest love this world or the next has ever known" department.
As I tried to convince my arms no, you are not jelly, and yes, you should push me up I listened hard to the apartment's quiet. It was the silence of "You're the only one home" rather then "Ralynne and Nicole are sleeping." for which I was grateful. First things fininished-I got Byakuya to the apartment. First things next? For a moment I kept still, trying to decide whether I stank or hurt more. Stink won and I crawled out of my room and into a very long, very hot shower with all my clothes on.
Pulling off my nasty, grubby, gory ensemble was not much fun. I rinsed each garment out best as I could, wringing out water time and time again before it ran clear, hanging them over the shower curtain rod. My drain didn't work well at all and I was soon up to my ankles in crimson, chunky water. (So long, tasty, tasty curry I will never look at the same way again) First things first.-get clean The mantra was doing a great deal of help in the "no panicking" department. It took a long time and about three handfuls of shampoo before I was satisfied all blood and puke was scrubbed out of my hair. That's when I attacked the rest of me with a loofah and half a bar of soap. The blood only I could see took a long time to wash off, like the water and soap from the transient world didn't really affect it. This was possibly the first shower in which I couldn't even THINK about singing.
Nearly an hour later, I was wrapped in a towel and tiptoeing back to my room. Moments after that, the towel was wrapped around my hair and I was wearing my huge rainbow tie dye shirt which brushed my aching knees as I tip-toed to the dark kitchen. Grabbing a glass from the dishwasher, I flipped the sink on. My glass was half full (or empty) when I thought better of this plan. AND just a few more minutes later, there was a dishtowel wrapped around the pint of half-eaten Chocolate Cookie dough ice-cream in my hand as I plopped down on my bed with a squeaky crash, a notebook, pen, and spoon.
Our apartment windows had those vertical blinds that need the twisty dowel thing to open. They were turned half open at the moment, and I stared into the parking lot beyond. Behind our building was the nice view; lawns and gazebos and a barbeque. My room just looked over a bunch of empty parking spaces. The blue of night was un-charmingly mixed with orange street lights, but it gave me enough light to write by. I slurped on a huge spoonful of heaven as I stared out the window, trying to put some of my crazy thoughts in order. On a little island of trees amidst the asphalt, one of the rare feral cats pawed at something in the grass, probably one of the billions of lizards that ran around Florida. You're avoiding, Megan. I sighed, scooping out another big chunk of happiness with my left hand while grasping the pen with my right.
Questions I wrote it out slowly, deliberately, with a double underline. Somehow I resisted the urge to write my name and the date on top of the paper. Finally, I opened the floodgate on all of the questions and scribbled them out as fast as they came to mind.
How is this possible? Can you handle this? Did you finally snap from loneliness/homesickness and your in some strange Oz coma? If he dies, that would be easy because he'll just dissolve, right? Like Kaien, Yoda. What will you do if he lives? High reiatsu means hunger. Can he eat earth food? You live off of toast and cereal. Can you afford to feed him? Does he actually speak Japanese or did Kubo make that up? Do YOU Speak Japanese? Did Kubo make ANY of this up? Byakuya is here. Is Bleach all real? Is Soul Society-
My meandering train of thought screeched to a violent halt. My eyes were goggling at the page, horrified by what I'd almost written. Is Soul Society what happens after death?
Byakuya's breathing became unbearably loud as my own stopped. The ache in my stomach flared from pain to nausea. Slowly, I looked over at the row of books occupying my dresser. Japanese textbooks, a dictionary of the same flavor, the few novels from my personal library I couldn't bear to leave home in Utah...and my scriptures. They'd been a birthday present a few years ago (Or was it Christmas?) Beautiful blue binding, with my name embossed in a tasteful cursive, silver script across the front, the contents embossed in the same font on the binding, my silk blue ribbon planted firmly in Isaiah. Without looking down at the notebook, I scrawled a final line. Why wasn't that your first question?
First things first, Megan. I reminded myself, taking in another of those wonderful deep breaths. I couldn't ask Byakuya about the food and fist aid and...other stuff unless I could actually ask him questions. Time for a crash course refresher. I crawled to the end of my squeaky bed and reached out towards the far red textbook-Japanese, the spoken language, 101. My hand froze as I realized just what I'd been using for a bookend. I scrambled off the mattress, heedless of the complaints from both the boxsprings and my butt as panic took over for the first time.
First things VERY FIRST. I had to hide my Byakuya doll.