Music and Memories (Bleach, Ichigo/Tatsuki, #27)
Theme: 27 (overflow)
Disclaimer: Bleach is owned by Kubo Tite and affiliated corporations.
Spoilers: Read at your own risk.
Author's Note: Takes place in a distant future.
The music washed over him, obliterating from his mind the night's battles and the day's worries. He still needed a drink, though, to alleviate the tension in his limbs and neck. Shedding clothes as he walked to the bar, he luxuriated in the feel of cool air against his flushed skin, his blood overflowing with testosterone and adrenaline. He poured more than a fair share of whiskey into his glass, tossing it back and enjoying the fiery path it burned down his throat, sighing in contentment at the warmth that exploded in his stomach and radiated outward.
He poured another shot before settling into his favorite chair, the music from his stereo reverberating through his skull. The liquor was working its magic, loosening his muscles and making his eyes droop. Gradually, his breathing relaxed, his heartbeat slowing until it was steady and normal, no longer pumping fast because of impending danger or imagined doom. Like the hands of a masseuse, the liquor and music worked in conjunction to knead away the stress, the fears, the tension, the discomfort.
Like always, when the house was quiet and his mind was at ease, he wondered what she was doing. Was she married? Was she successful? Was she happy? He tried not to think about her because it only led to regret and sorrow, and to ease the overflow of those emotions he downed two more shots of whiskey and leaned back in his chair, comfortable but too loose to relax.
He toyed with the now empty glass, indecisive as to what course to take: did he stop now that his muscles were relaxed and his heartbeat was slow, or did he continue to drink to forget things that would inevitably began plaguing him? If it weren't for the hangover he would suffer tomorrow upon waking, he would down the entire bottle and sleep the sleep of drunkards - the pain in his heart was never as painful as the one that would be in his head, though the two were often in close competition.
Tensed once more he downed another shot and picked up the remote, pressing the volume button until the walls reverberated with the music blasting through the speakers. He gave himself over to the music and the alcohol, wanting to both head upstairs to his bed and pick up the phone near the kitchen. Was she awake now? What time was it over there? Was she sleeping by herself? Was someone there to warm her at night?
He pressed the glass to his temple and tried not to think about how it all went wrong, but the memories assaulted him ceaselessly: the weeks spent away from home, the stilted conversations and accusations that were branded about.... He didn't want to remember the warm brown eyes that gradually became hard and cynical, the way he lost admittance to the sanctuary that was her bed. He touched his lips, remembering the way her kisses had alleviated some of his worst fears - was she kissing someone else now? He fought against the urge to go upstairs and pull out the box in which he stored all her mementos, the little letters and gifts she had given him during their relationship. He didn't want to acknowledge that so much had changed in the little time she had left him without any warning or explanation.
Why did he still live here? Not even time had erased her presence. Traces of her scent still lingered in the air, like storm clouds threatening to break, and every time he cleaned he found something of hers that had been left behind: a pen, a notebook, a shirt, a headband....
After discovering a pair of panties behind the oven in his kitchen he had hired a maid to clean once a week. Anything that was unfamiliar or couldn't possibly be his was tossed in the bin and removed from his home immediately upon being found.
He didn't want anything to remind him of her. His memories were enough.