Kurosaki Ichigo was not normally a person for wishful thinking. That isn't to say that he didn't daydream and that isn't to say that he didn't dwell in the past about certain things. And, of course he would wonder at times what his life would have been like had that Hollow never crashed into his bedroom and Rukia had never gotten hurt and given him her powers.
But, the one thing he dwelled on more than any of that, the thing that had shoved his mother's death to a close second when it came to always being on his mind in some way, was one Abarai Renji.
Perhaps, four years ago before they had first gotten together as a couple, he wouldn't have dwelled on any subject having to do with Renji so much. Well, he would have, but not in such a negative way.
Since they'd broken up, recently, he kept looking behind him, around him, hoping to see that Renji had returned from Soul Society to patch things up. He would go there himself, but as a living soul he was not really allowed into Soul Society whenever he just simply wanted to. And, it seemed Urahara wouldn't let him through the damn gate without permission if it wasn't an emergency. He didn't see how his broken relationship with his one-time lover wasn't an emergency, but apparently it wasn't life-or-death enough. Just when the hell had Urahara been so hellbent on the fucking rules??
Either way, it had been eight months now. Even he had given up hope that Renji would let him explain that he had not been over at Keigo's all night because he was sleeping with him. Regardless of what Renji thought of the guy, he was still Ichigo's friend. And when he knew a friend was in distress, he would be there. For as long as it took, every time. And he knew that this time Keigo had truly been upset. He wasn't just making it up to get attention. Ichigo had had to be there, damn it!
But, apparently Renji had had enough time to get pissed off and then let it stew in his head and dwell on those negative feelings, which created only more intense negative feelings. And, by the time Ichigo had come home, he hadn't been able to even get a word in edgewise. He'd yelled back, of course he had. But, nothing he'd said seemed to make it to Renji's ears, the redhead was so angry and was yelling at him so loudly there wasn't room for hearing the words of another person, even Ichigo.
His face had even been red with anger. And he'd left. He'd left...just like that. And even with shunpo, Ichigo had not been able to catch up and by the time he got to Renji, the taller Shinigami had already opened a gate to Soul Society and stepped through it. It had been disappearing once again when Ichigo had gotten there and it was too late to go through it.
Unable to open one himself, and unable to get Urahara to let him through, Ichigo was forced to walk around the Living World, keeping his eyes peeled and his ears trained for a stray footstep, a gentle breeze that wasn't natural. Anything that could indicate that Renji had come back, ready to listen, ready to do whatever it took to get their feelings sorted out along with the facts, maybe try again.
“I look over my shoulder for you, Renji? Do you look over your shoulder, too?” he whispered, looking up at the night sky full of stars, knowing that the older Shinigami couldn't hear him from Soul Society, that it wasn't up there anyway, but wanting so bad to hear an answer. An answer that never came.