As the Pendulum Swings

As the Pendulum Swings

A Story by Minyonka

A series of flash-fictions. They met in the Soul Reaper Academy. Through the years, much had changed, but they somehow remained a constant in each other's lives. Onesided RenjixOC, some RenRuki

1. 337 words
They met in the Soul Reaper Academy. The other students looked down upon him, called him trash. She hated them, those high and mighty nobles. They were all a bunch of spoiled brats as far as she was concerned. He thought the same, but each day made ignoring their insults more and more difficult. As he gathered his books after class, she approached him for the first time. The first thing he noticed about here was her hair, as red as his, tied into a braid that hung over her shoulder and in front of her. Her eyes were kind, but held a degree of sharpness. She was small in comparison to him, but in all fairness, so were most people he encountered. The young woman seemed to be a thin, lithe person.
“Abarai-kun,” she said, unsure if her use of the suffix would offend him; she was trying to sound friendly. “Don’t let the rest of them bother you. They don’t get what it was like in the places we grew up. They just have a stick up their asses.”
The young man stared at her in surprise, only used to Rukia speaking remotely like that. He remembered briefly from her introduction to the class that she’d grown up in Junrinran. He couldn’t think of anything to say that might have made him sound intelligent; he sufficed with what he had.
“What?” the young man asked.
“Sorry. I remembered you were from Inuzuri and I can’t stand how the nobles treat those of us from the lower end of the Rukon District. By the way, my name’s Kagami Okasawa.” She extended her hand, which he shook slowly in greeting.
“Renji Abarai.”
Kagami stared at him with a smile, taking note of his red hair, which was in a messy ponytail atop his head, his muscular form and the dark lines that seemed to be inked where his eyebrows were.
“Nice to meet you formally, Abarai-kun.”
“Just call me Renji.” Kagami smiled.
“Sure. See you tomorrow, Renji.”

2. 235 words
She and Rukia had been the first to see his new tattoos that began rising up his forehead. Rukia had been a bit surprised by the direction he was taking with the ink, but proceeded to tease him nonetheless, before congratulating him on passing his first major exam. That accomplishment had been the reason Renji had gotten the tattoo. Kagami knew that Rukia’s teasing was simply her way. After all, the two of them had been friends since childhood in Inuzuri. Kagami, however, had a different approach.
“Didn’t that hurt?” she asked, leaning forward to get a closer look at the ink. Her lips were only inches from the tip of his nose. Renji flushed lightly at her close proximity, quickly backing away.
“It was nothing I can’t handle,” he answered simply. Kagami smiled and leaned back, sitting on her calves once more.
“Well, I like ‘em. They look cool.”
“I didn’t know you liked tattoos, Kagami,” Rukia said, looking at her friend. Kagami merely shrugged her shoulders.
“I kind of want to get one.”
Only a month later, Renji joined Kagami as she went to get her first, and only, tattoo. He let her hold his hand tightly as the kanji for ‘strength’ was etched into her right shoulder blade in black ink. He often had to suppress a laugh at the faces she made as the ink was slowly placed into her skin.

3. 467 words
She had been the one to find him the evening after Rukia had been adopted into the Kuchiki family. Kagami was sure she’d find and kill whoever gave Renji his first drink of alcohol. He’d been in the hallway, too drunk to even walk. With his size, she didn’t want to think of how much he had to have drunk to be in this state. He’d fallen to the ground haphazardly when Kagami had found him. She’d never seen him so vulnerable before, or so depressed. There were tears raining down his cheeks, something Kagami had never seen before or since. Renji never cried, even with the worst of injuries. It just wasn’t who he was. Seeing him so broken, it tore her heart to pieces.
“Renji,” she whispered gently, placing a hand on his shoulder as he awkwardly sat up. Renji stared at her for a moment, his eyes bouncing in his drunken state.
“She’s gone,” he slurred. At least, Kagami was sure that was what he’d said.
In that instant, she knew who he was speaking of. Kagami had always known Renji had a very close connection with Rukia. Only now did she fully realize how strongly he felt; he loved Rukia. With a soft sigh, she resigned to give up her childish dreams of Renji returning her feelings for him. She’d be what he really needed from her: a true friend.
“Come here, Renji. Let me help.”
Kagami helped Renji stand and allowed him to use her as a crutch while they walked to her room. This was no easy task, as Renji was much larger and heavier than she. Kagami could only hope her roommate wouldn’t mind an extra guest for the evening. As the two of them entered the bedroom, and bedside lamp turned on and Kagami’s roommate stared at them through squinted eyes.
“What’re you doing?” the girl asked groggily.
“I couldn’t just leave him, Shizune. It’s just for tonight, I promise.”
“Isn’t that Abarai?”
“Yes. Please, don’t tell anyone about this.”
“Alright, but what’s going on?” Kagami sighed and glanced up at her best friend.
“Grief,” she answered simply and led Renji to her bed. “Don’t move, Renji.”
“Is he okay?” Shizune asked.
“He will be. Just go back to sleep,” Kagami snapped, not bothering to look over her shoulder. The light clicked off and she heard the rustling of blankets with a huff. In the darkness, Kagami sat up with Renji, gently stroking his head and humming a soft tune. His hand grasped hers tightly, afraid she’d disappear if he let her go.
“Dun go,” he slurred softly, his sadness weakening his voice. Kagami shushed him, kissing his forehead.
“I’m not going anywhere,” she whispered softly. “I’ll always be here when you need me. Just say the word.”

4. 505 words
Graduation had been the last time they’d seen each other. Renji had been taken into the Fifth Division with the rest of Kagami’s friends, Momo Hinamori and Izuru Kira. Kagami was alone in the Sixth Division. When she’d been sent to the Living World on a routine job, she never expected to encounter what she did. He called himself Shawlong and an Adjuchas. Kagami had never seen anything like him before: made entirely of bone, like a Hollow’s mask. This Adjuchas’ mask looked more like the helmet of a human medieval knight and his fingers reminded her of swords. No matter what he was, though, Kagami knew he had to die.
“Otoshiireru, Kurogoke,” she murmured, unleashing the Shikai of her zanpakuto. Her sword disappeared, forming black, armor-like gloves on her hands with a red hourglass on the back of each. Strands of spiritual energy, much like a spider’s web, shot from her fingertips as she attempted to restrain the enemy. In the midst of the fight, she sent a Hell Butterfly with a request for backup.
“Nothing will help you, now that I know your weakness,” Shawlong said, striking fear into Kagami’s chest. She threw her web at him again, wishing to puncture him, thus flooding his system with a deadly poison. Her strikes missed every time.
“D****t,” she muttered. “He’s too fast.”
In the next instant, pain ripped through her left shoulder in she screamed out until her lungs burned. Shawlong had sliced straight through her flesh, severing the entire left arm from her body. Kagami stumbled back, blood pouring from her wound. She fell to the ground, clutching the bloodied shoulder with her opposite arm. Shawlong approached quickly and she was sure it was the end of her. Just before the Adjuchas reached her a white figure appeared before her. To her shock, Captain Gin Ichimaru had come to her rescue. A dizzying sensation washed over Kagami as Captain Ichimaru forced Shawlong into retreating. She struggled to keep her eyes open as the loss of blood continued to affect her. Kurogoke returned to its sealed form, returning to the sheath at Kagami’s hip.
“Good thing Captain Aizen got the message when he did,” Gin commented as he lifted Kagami in his arms, using what remained of her sleeve to apply pressure to the wound. Kagami whimpered in pain and stared at him as they passed through the Senkaimon
“Thank you, Captain Ichimaru,” she murmured weakly.
“You’re my lieutenant’s pal. Couldn’t let ya go off an’ die on him.”
Izuru had been sent to Captain Ichimaru’s division, becoming lieutenant, Kagami remembered. Immediately upon reaching the Seireitei, Kagami was brought to the Fourth Division, where she was promptly tended to. As they treated the area where her arm had once been, she felt unimaginable pain, worse than the initial cut, and cried out. Tears fell from her eyes and the doctors tried to calm her. Nothing worked. The one person she wanted most was nowhere to be found, when she needed him. Renji wasn’t there.

5. 259 words
It had been many years before Kagami and Renji saw each other again. She was Third Seat of the Sixth Division. He had recently become her lieutenant. Kagami was ashamed of the way she hid from him, but she didn’t want him seeing her weakness. She didn’t want him to pity her. When they’d bumped into each other, quite literally, she was afraid of his reaction to her handicap. The scare with Rukia was over, the ryoka would be returning to their world soon and Kagami had hoped for normalcy to return. That was, apparently, too much to ask for as she stared up at her old friend.
“Kagami!” Renji exclaimed. “Long time, no see!” She was surprised, to say the least. After years of no contact, Renji still treated her as though they’d never been separated. That evening, at dinner, they caught up on times past and Kagami explained what had happened to her arm.
“You’re mad,” she noted when she finished her story. Renji’s face, now sporting many tribal tattoos that also traveled down his neck, was contorted in suppressed anger.
“You should’ve told me. You didn’t have to deal with it on your own.”
“It’s fine, Renji. What’s done is done. We can’t change it.” As firmly as she spoke, Kagami didn’t believe her won words. She’d been angry after losing her arm, wishing for Renji to visit her. She knew it was wrong of her, which was why she’d never admit it.
“I’m not going to let you suffer like that again,” Renji insisted firmly.

6. 393 words
Kagami limped through Kisuke Urahara’s shop, her muscles aching with every step. Behind her, little Ururu carried a bowl of water with a wash cloth. Kagami damned the Bounts with everything in her. If it wasn’t for them, she and Renji wouldn’t be in this mess, badly injured and barely able to walk. She entered the room Renji was staying in. When Renji saw her, she tried to force himself into a sitting position.
“Don’t move,” Kagami ordered, shakily dropping to her knees beside him. Her muscles screamed in protest and she resisted the urge to cringe. Ururu set the bowl of water on the floor before quickly leaving the room.
“The hell are you doin’?” Renji asked. “You’re just as beat up as I am.”
“Which of us can still walk?” Kagami retorted, cocking an eyebrow. Renji scoffed.
“You’re lucky you’re injured or I’d hit you.” Kagami reached into the water bowl and took out the wash cloth, wringing it out over Renji’s head.
“Ah! What the hell?!” he yelled, half-sitting, and rubbed the water off his face.
“If I can’t get back at you the normal way, this’ll suffice,” Kagami answered with a shrug and a smirk. She placed her hand on his chest, gently pushing back down. “Now lie down and rest.”
“You should do the same,” Renji retorted.
“Ah, but then who would make sure you’re not pushing yourself, as you’re so prone to doing? Besides, that’d require me to get up and walk to my room, which I don’t have the energy to do.”
So little had changed between them, which Kagami both loved and resented. He was still her best friend, as he had always been. Years apart didn’t change that, but neither did previous years by his side. A sort of bittersweet smile crossed Kagami’s lip as she turned her gaze to the bowl of water Ururu had brought. She’d only wanted it as a means to get back a Renji if he annoyed her.
“They why the hell did you come in here if you can barely move?”
“I’m keeping a promise I made to you back in the academy,” she answered elusively, earning a puzzled expressing from Renji. Kagami reached into the bowl and wrung out the water from the washcloth over his face again, causing him to sputter. Nope, nothing had changed.

7. 235 words
“What the hell, Renji!” she screamed, her nails digging into her knees as she gripped it tightly. Kagami was sitting cross-legged with her shihakusho hanging off her shoulders. Her back was to Renji and her braid hung over her shoulder.
“Hold still. Do you want this fixed or not?” he retorted, rubbing a disinfecting salve on the wound that was sliced across Kagami’s shoulder blades.
Miraculously, her tattoo had been spared, which was what Renji noticed first when she’d lowered her shihakusho enough to see the wound. He’d almost chuckled at the memory of Kagami receiving that tattoo, and the string of insults she’d thrown at him during the process.
“Yes, I want it fixed, not mutilated. You think you can be any gentler?”
“You tell me,” Renji answered as he began applying a soothing ointment to Kagami’s wound. She blushed lightly at the sudden change in his touch.
“That’s more like it,” she muttered, adjusting her shihakusho. Renji placed the gauze over her shoulder blades before lightly patting her back. Kagami shrugged her shihakusho on fully and fastened it properly before turning to face Renji.
“Try not to hurt yourself like that again.”
“I can’t make any promises, Renji.”
“The keyword was try.”
“What do you care? It’s part of the job.”
“I don’t want to see you injured.” Kagami’s eyes widened before she glanced away, realizing the dynamics of their relationship had shifted.

8. 278 words
They were married today. Renji looked very formal in the traditional Japanese wedding garments. The smile on his lips spoke volumes. His bride was beautiful, but far from blushing. She had always been strong that way. Kagami held back tears as she watched the couple. She supposed it was bound to happen sooner or later. Rukia had been first in his heart. It was always Rukia that he loved. Through all the years, it had always been Rukia. Kagami was at the ceremony, of course. She was a dear friend of both Renji and Rukia. It was only natural she be there for them. When the approached her at the reception, she gave them both a bright smile, a tear falling from her eyes.
“Why’re you crying?” Rukia asked ash she and Renji each hugged her, Renji adding a light punch to the shoulder. The bride looked gorgeous in her uchikake kimono. It was a dark blue, with delicate white flowers stitched around it.
“I’m so happy for you both,” Kagami answered, wiping her eyes. She’d only half-lied. Indeed, she was overjoyed that two of her dearest friends had found happiness. She only wished that she could have been in Rukia’s place. Later in the reception, Renji took the opportunity to honor her.
“To Kagami,” he called, holding up a glass. “Without her, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
The other guests cheered, Izuru patting her back and Momo spouting words of joy for her. Kagami merely smiled and let her tears flow freely, easily mistaken for tears of joy. She held up her glass, bidding a mental farewell to the man who unknowingly held her heart.

© 2009 Minyonka

Author's Note

This was, quite honestly, written out of boredom, but I really liked how it came out, so I decided to post it. This is meant to be a backstory/introduction of a character (Kagami). I hope you guys enjoy reading it as much as I liked writing it.

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you are amazing it like a bio for rukia and renji nice pic of renji

ps. i love toshiro and yourichi my fav

Posted 11 Years Ago

You're an amazing writer. I love this story. Keep it up.

Posted 11 Years Ago

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Added on December 3, 2009
Last Updated on December 3, 2009



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