Goodbye, Rukia... Thank You.
There she stood in front of Ichigo. Her hair shined more blue than black in the moonlight. Her eyes met Ichigo's directly; they shared a profound emotion that neither of them had yet discovered.
Ichigo watched her, her smile obviously forced. They both knew that any second now, they would be separated. Any moment now, Ichigo would completely lose his powers as a soul reaper. He was going to miss her, though he kept telling himself it wasn't true. How long could he fool himself and everybody around him?
Rukia sighed, then Ichigo.
Of course he'd miss her. She'd turned his life all around and made his dreams come true. Because of her, Ichigo had met Ishida and become close to Orihime-san and Chado. She'd saved him from being unable to help others, and because of her he'd even had the chance to enter a new world--the Soul Society.
No, there was no way that he would ever forget Rukia. They were connected--in past, present, and future--by an unbreakable bond. Fate had ruled that they should meet, and now it was forcing them to part.
Ichigo broke Rukia's gaze, looking down at the sidewalk.
They hadn't said a word for minutes. What could either of them say? Nothing. This was the end. Still, Ichigo would never forget her.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a flicker of the space in front of him. His eyes followed the movement, and his heart jolted inside his chest when he realized what was happening. From the bottom up, Rukia's body was starting to fade away.
Ichigo resisted the urge to clench his hands as his mind raced through the millions of things he wanted to say. But none, not a single one of them, would make a difference now that they were being separated. He was at a loss for words; confused. He couldnt even tell what he was feeling.
Now he could only see her waist and up. He met her eyes again. She was still smiling, and something snapped into place at that moment.
"Alright," he thought to himself, "I'll try my best to go on, without you." He smiled, and it felt real to him.
Here he stood, in front of Rukia, who'd changed his life for the better and made him into the man he was today. Again, he fought the urge to clench his fists or reach out and hold her hand. But, what would Rukia think if he showed her how flustered he was about the fact that he would never as of a weakling. He would hold in everything he was feeling, all the emotions jumbled up. He wouldn't let his fear of losing his most prrecious friend show.
As Fate erased her from his sight, she smiled one last time, a genuine smile, and her eyes sparkled in the starlight. Then, she was gone, and Ichigo lost every chance of letting her know his appreciation of everything she'd done for her. It was over.
Ichigo looked up to the sky, fighting his emotions. He only allowed himself to say:
"Goodbye, Rukia... Thank you."
And just within those three words, from a dimension he would never again have the ability to see, Rukia heard the many thoughts that, just seconds ago, had crossed Ichigo's mind.