Dreams and nightmares

The wind rustled the grass and long weeds in the fields. He was far away from the farthest house, Seireitei just a white spot in the distance. Izuru sat in the long grass, bathed by the orange light of sunset. He had received permission for a few days off from his duties as Lieutenant of Third Squad. And here he was at the end of the fourth one, his goal still unaccomplished.

For months on end that dream had haunted him, along with the person in it. Surely a figment of his imagination, and guilts, and regrets – at least that was what he told himself at first. Yet he couldn't shake the feeling of reality that one dream – or had it been a nightmare through and through? – had left on him. Three days ago he decided that maybe the stress was getting to him, and he thought a break would be nice. He began with a walk, and his feet carried him outside of the city to get rid of that nagging feeling that he had been in that forest before. Under those trees, glimpses of bright sunlight shining from above. He started searching. He searched all the forests he knew of, but none of them held the familiarity that had calmed him on that stormy night. He caught himself repeatedly wondering why he was doing this because of a mere dream. He couldn't answer it, not truthfully at least, not to himself. Because if he admitted that he was secretly hoping for something impossible to happen, it meant opening the chest of demons he had locked inside of him and thrown away the key.
There he sat, looking over the horizon line as the sun slowly sank beneath it. He sighed, not knowing what to do, what to think. If only he could forget that cursed dream. He was foolish in believing he could bury the past, and when he thought he was safe, the past came knocking on his door again. He wanted to tell someone about that dream, hoping it would make it go away, but who could he tell? There was no one he could talk to about it without seeming like a desperately attached boy clinging to the memory of something long lost. There was always Rangiku-san but telling her about this would be cruel and selfish. Was she still thinking about him? Was she still clinging to hope or denying it with all her might and trying to bury the pain as he was? Did she maybe experience the same thing he did? Maybe not now, but what about the past? Perhaps she would understand him… No. He shook his head. He must keep it to himself.

He dropped back onto the grass with a rough breath slammed out of him by the hard ground. But the grass felt nice, surrounding him, rustling softly in the light evening breeze, like nature trying to soothe him with its songs. The sky turned red, then violet, then dark. The stars twinkled on the night sky, hidden here and there behind soft clouds. A new moon was in the sky, appearing through the clouds like a bright white fang from the jaws of a dark hound.

“You’re a fool, Kira Izuru” he said to himself, sighing painfully and drawing both hands over his eyes.

The night was cool and relaxing, and for just a brief minute, he allowed himself to close his eyes out in the fields. And when he opened them again, shock froze his breath in his lungs.
The familiar fox face peered over him from the standing figure of Gin Ichimaru, silver hair hanging down and framing his face. He was grinning.

“You’re looking in the wrong place” he said.

“Gin!” he caught himself almost screaming.

His cry however fell on no ears whatsoever as he found himself sitting alone in the field, breath heavy, heart pounding against his ribs like it was trying to escape.
But he had been there! Right there! With him in the field! He looked around agitated and anxious before the boundary between dream and reality became painfully obvious. It had been a dream, fueled by an illogical sense of hope. And yet the words were ringing in his head, like the echo of a lost man’s voice inside the maze of a dark cave…

You’re looking in the wrong place.