WARNING: RUKIA STANNING IN PROCESS
I am upset because Ichigo was the only one who went to go save Rukia and Rukia thinks they’re all so nice and great and thoughtful for coming to her rescue when they don’t even give a fuck about her. Not yet, anyway.
Now you can say that yeah Rukia and Orihime become ~great friends~ and they do, but it definitely didn’t happen before here and I wouldn’t expect it too—they were only classmates. Same goes for Chad. They went for Ichigo.
As for Ishida, it’s arguable that he went because he felt he wanted to protect her, but that’s mostly a hero complex that developed at early childhood due to his whole martyr Quincy father figure misadventures. Mostly, he went to go kick some Shinigami tush.
Yoruichi went because Urahara asked it of her, all she knew was that this was the sister of Byakuya. And Urahara only sent them all because he had planted the Hougyoku inside her and didn’t want Aizen to get it. As someone who always saw other people as his playthings, he used her body as a storage area—and didn’t want someone else to get his hands on his toys.
But Ichigo, dear Ichigo, went for her. Because he knew what all of them would learn about her: that she was the greatest. That of all the people in the whole entire world, as well as Soul Society, she was one person who should never cry, should never be sad, and the world should never be without. From two months knowing her, he trusted her completely, and understood her what she did, what she sacrificed when she kicked his hand away from Byakuya—she saved him. In a way, she took a blow for him, just like he had the first night they met. When she turned around, tears in her eyes, you can see in his expression that there is something fundamentally wrong with this picture: he is not supposed to be bleeding on the ground with a broken sword; she is not supposed to be leaving with them; and for god fucking sake’s she is not supposed to be crying.
From the beginning, Ichigo has revered her for being incredibly strong. Maybe not powerful, but her strength is something he’s always admired. When that wavers, when she cries, something is not right.
This is not how he envisioned it: he was supposed to save her. And save her he must. He must remedy that. He feels he has to fix this, because he fucked up. He fucked up bad and he made this strong, beautiful woman cry.
But not only that, he must pay back his debts, debts he never thought he could. Truthfully he doesn’t feel like he ever could, but this will help. For saving him over and over again, for pulling him out of his mundane, sad existence, he will save her right back.
Furthermore, he saved her because I can’t help but feel like the world he saw without her was sadder than he could ever imagine. The world kept turning without Rukia, as he put it, and that was weird. Nothing made sense without her. She was his light, and he couldn’t see in the dark.
However, he didn’t save her to possess her. Some might ask, Well why didn’t he take her with him? No, he saved her so she would have a choice, so she would be happy. As long as he knew that she was alright, he would be content. Sure, he wanted her to come with him in those last moments in Soul Society, but he respected her wishes to stay home, where she really belonged. He did what he came to: he saved her. She was safe now, and that was enough. Because, surely, they would meet again.
Where everyone saved Rukia for Ichigo, he didn’t: he saved her for her.
And yet Rukia is grateful for all of them. Every single one of them. And it breaks my heart because hers is just so damn big, greeting and embracing everyone. I’m glad they did, of course. I’m glad they risked their lives for Ichigo in order to save her because then they were able to know the girl they saved and be able to love her just as much as Ichigo did. That if she were taken again (although let’s hope that never happens), they would surely go for her this time.
Because, as they’ve learned what Ichigo had already, a world without Rukia is a world without light.