A figment of Imagination

Screams, roaring, sounds of death and agony and destruction. Every tormenting battle that he had ever been through mashed together in one night terror. All the pain that had ever been seared into his body, every thought that had ever tormented his mind, plagued Kira Izuru's sleep for the fourth night in a row. He fought and he fought and he fought with his own mind, trying to escape the nightmare to no avail. A gaping hole opened up in front of him. He ran away, but the hole kept chasing him. He ran faster but seemed to slow down despite that. He ran even faster but the ground was slipping from under his feet. His panting echoed into his ears along with the pumping of his heartbeat. The dark chasm caught up, stealing him away to a possibly worse fate.
Grass? Wildflowers? He suddenly awoke in an orchard.

"My my, some nasty dreams you've been having lately."

The blood froze in his veins. His muscles protested when he turned his head to find the source of that familiar voice. The nightmare had morphed into yet another painful memory of the past. A person that after all this time he had still failed to understand. A person departed from both life and afterlife, and yet he was there. In his dreams. Or nightmares.

"What's with that face? You look like you've seen a ghost" he said with the ever familiar ironizing tone and wide smirk.

Izuru shook his head in disbelief, trying to shake off the dream.

"Nope, not going away that easily" he said, cracking open one eye to look at Izuru with its bright sky blue color.

Izuru took a moment to stare, trying to come up with either an explanation or an escape. Gin Ichimaru, on the other hand, was lying in the grass wearing a bright white yukata, relaxing with his arms folded under his head as the light danced over him through the tree foliage above, not caring about anything.

“How are you here?” Izuru managed to utter, his voice barely leaving his throat at first but then intensifying towards the end.

“Frankly I don’t even know. Can’t say I really care though. Lay down. Have a rest” Gin said in a carefree manner, closing his eyes again.

“But you’re dead.”

“Yep, pretty much am.”

“Then how come I’m seeing you? And talking to you.”

“Technically you’re dreaming, so loophole~” Gin chimed.

Izuru dropped back onto the grass, knocking the air out of his lungs, or at least he felt like it did.

“You’re not real, you’re just a figment of my imagination... An image of the past that came back to haunt me just like everything else I feel guilty for...”

Gin opened his eyes, looking up at the sky through the tree branches – it was the most beautiful shade of blue, with streaks of white clouds passing every now and then – and he thought for a few seconds.

“Nah, way too much goody-two-shoes in you to conjure up a sly bastard like me” he said, a grin spreading on his face. “You seemed like you were havin’ a rough time, I thought I might spare you from all that.”

“So you confirm. You’re just my imagination.”

“Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows~?”

Izuru felt like he was slowly sinking through the grass.

“Wait!” he cried out, reaching towards the man he could see still lying on the grass while the ground swallowed him into a dark nether.

But he felt no pain, it was like he was floating, further and further down until he felt like he was being placed down on a hard surface. And then his eyes opened to the cool darkness of his room. He was lying on his back, eyes wide open and staring at the ceiling, words echoing in his head over and over again.

Until next time...