And just like in fairy tales, after the war, after the suffering, after everything, Ichigo gets his happy ending.
“Oi! Kisuke, there’s some guests for Ichigo at the door. Can they come in or…?”Yoruichi throws his door open, entering Kisuke’s room with no regards for its current occupants. She walks with purpose towards the window, where a couple of cats were sitting, curled against each other. The larger black cat had his tail wrapped around the skinny calico, and craned his head back to shoot her an annoyed (but resigned) look.The calico, Ichigo, follows just a second later, looking drowsy.
He yawns before getting up, making sure to nudge against Kisuke before making his way over to Yoruichi, phasing back into his human form between one step and the next. His decency was hidden as he swiftly picked up his clothes from the floor without stopping.
Yoruichi whistles as Ichigo nods at her and makes his way towards the door, his pants already on and juggling his shirt over himself. The cat woman smiles, arms crossed and leaning against the door frame. “He’s gotten good at this. And he’s even more unabashed than I would have thought.”
“Yes well,” Kisuke says, also turning back into his Shinigami form, stretching and taking his time to gather his own clothes. “I don’t think you gave him much of a choice in the matter.”
“Hey, he was going to be changing at random until he got the hang of it, and I didn’t want him hurting himself instead of asking for my help.”
“You just enjoyed flustering the poor boy.”
Yoruichi grins like the Cheshire cat. “He’s too cute for his own good. You would know.”
“Well, that I cannot deny.” Kisuke smiles back, as he finishes dressing and heads towards their guests with his friend.
When they finally made their way to the entrance, Ichigo was the only one inside, distractedly messing with his phone –new, courtesy of his friends (and Kisuke shamelessly pitching in to get him the best phone in the market).
“Hm? Weren’t your friends here to visit you?” Kisuke says in lieu of greeting, feeling more than seeing Yoruichi slinking away to leave them alone. The aforementioned teen smiles without looking up, finishes whatever he was doing and pockets the phone.
“Well, yeah. But I want to spend today with you.” His words catch up with him as he turns the softest shade of red, looking at anywhere beside Kisuke. “If it’s not too much to ask.”
“It is always my pleasure to have you as company.” Kisuke replies, spreading his arms in a mock English-style bow. Ichigo snorts and folds his arms over his chest. “Did you really turn them away, though?”
“Hm,” Ichigo shook his head. “They told me Kanonji is going to be in town this weekend and they want to go.” The powerless teen shrugged, not a single worry or regret in the gesture. “I don’t particularly like the guy, but it’s free entertainment I guess.”
“That’s good then. Just don’t accept to do anything on his behalf, now that you cannot see spirits.” Kisuke smiles as he steps forward to grab his hand. He lifts it to his mouth and places a soft kiss. “It won’t be long now.”
Ichigo smiles at the promise. “Yeah.” He breathes out, his chest swelling with barely contained emotion.
Kisuke had almost finished preparing the blade that would return Ichigo’s powers. He had not mentioned it to him until he had been at least 99% certain that it would work. Even though Ichigo had already learned to be content with his lot in life, Kisuke wouldn’t have been satisfied until he exhausted every single option in the world. Anything to see the shine of true joy in those beautiful eyes.
(When he had had the guts to breach the subject and offer his tentative solution, Ichigo had actually gasped and hugged Kisuke, knocking away his breath and his doubts as well.
Ichigo had promised to be patient, and that had only helped the teen cope with his new lack of Sight.)
It wasn’t the only reason, but little by little, he had been able to look past his grief and pain. And Kisuke couldn’t be happier for him.
Ichigo looks at him, smiling at the distracted stare on Kisuke as he was swept away by a thought, and hugs him without any warning. “Thank you, Kisuke.”
At this point, these random acts of affection do not surprise the blond man. He just lets his smile grow as he wraps his arms around him, securing him against his chest. “You are very welcome, Ichigo-san.”
“I love you.”
He could be even happier after all.
“And I love you too, Ichigo-san,”
Feelings and relationships are complicated, like a Cat’s Cradle, but with patience, attention and love, there’s no knot that can’t be undone.
Cat’s Cradle end