AN: It's done! OMG I can't believe it~ I'm so excited to finally get back to my other fics (once school is over, which will be about in a month or so). :) I hope the last part is satisfying, guys. It's 9000 words so that's gotta mean something, right?

Thank you's for the last chapter:

Guest: Oh my, you must read fast. Haha. The last two chapters were around 5000 words. Thank you so much for your support. I hope you enjoy this one. It's an extra-long ending because I couldn't help myself. ;D

vampirelover: You get your wish~ The smut is rather heavy here. Since I've been writing smut for less than a year, I still have my issues with it. That being said, I hope you like it anyway!

guest: And here it is, the last update! Thank you. I'm glad you love the story. :)

yuiyuki: There's a lot going on here but I hope it turns out as well as you hope. Thank you for your support~

Guest: It's finally here! LOL Thank you for your review and enjoy~

nureen: Aww, thank you sweetheart! :3 I only hope I can brighten up your day, even if only a little bit.

Warning: THERE IS VERY SMUTTY CAR!SEX. I cannot emphasize this enough. If you don't like smut, well, what're you doing read this fic? LOL Also, there's a dash of HitsuKarin in here because it's my other OTP. Just a warning for non-shippers. Feel free to scroll past it.

Part Three: Cruise Control

"What're you lookin' at?"

Feeling a presence looming over her shoulder, Rukia jumped as she clutched her phone to her chest. "Nothing! Don't you have work to do, idiot?"

"That's pretty harsh," Renji frowned, unmoving. "What're you hiding over there?"

"Nothing! Just go away, Renji. We've got work to do," she mumbled, slipping her phone into the pocket of her dark blue jumpsuit. What she hadn't expected was for him to reach around and pickpocket her. When he began laughing maniacally as he held the phone above her head, her curses could be heard throughout the spacious garage. And from their workplaces, the others stopped to chuckle at the show.

It wasn't until a certain someone stole in that things started to get interesting.

"Hey, Ichigo! Catch!"

Reflexively he did what he was told, netting the smart phone with a confused grimace. "What the hell is this?"

"It's my phone! Give it back!" Rukia declared. But she was unable to reclaim it, arms held behind her by Renji.

Not even batting an eyelash, Ichigo put in the password and started scrolling through it.

"Don't you dare, Ichigo! I will make your life hell if you look through my messages!"

"Then nothing changes. Gotcha," Ichigo smirked, pressing the topmost text while shooting her a smug glance. "Now what could be so important that you'd have to hide it from your friends?"

"You're not my friend, you're my boss! And Renji's just some useless tool monkey! I take back my friendship with both of you!"

Mockingly offended, Renji snarled at the challenge. "Go on, Ichigo. What does it say?"

He scrolled to the bottom, seeing the tiny print and pausing with a deep frown. He looked over at Rukia, who stopped her struggles long enough to blush bright red and sputter some ill-formed threat.

But Ichigo wasn't having any of it. "What the hell is this?"

"What does it look like, fool? Can't you read?" Still heated, she tossed her short hair to the side.

"Yeah but what the hell does it mean? Why's some guy asking you out to dinner?"

"Oh, isn't that nice?" Ayasegawa chuckled, leaning his chin against his hand. By now the entire room was being entertained.

"I don't know. Maybe he wants to get to know me or something." She'd calmed down enough that Renji let her go. He figured that if she attacked anyone, it'd probably be Ichigo.

"Yeah but why?"

"I don't know. Have you ever thought that maybe that's what guys do? They ask a girl out 'cause they might like her?" Her sarcasm must've been potent because his dumbfounded expression morphed into seriousness. Good. She would hate to tear him apart when he wasn't completely coherent.

Eyeing the screen, he glared between it and her annoyed face. "I don't trust this guy. Who knows what he's up to? I don't know how well you know guys, Rukia. I mean, he could be a masked murderer and you're just his type."

"And if he was it still wouldn't be any of your business." She stomped up to him to collect her phone, holding her right hand out expectantly. "Give it back. I still have to reply to him."

But Ichigo wasn't so compliant. Instead he slipped the cell into his jeans pocket before doing an about face. "I don't think you're in the right frame of mind to be making decisions. Come back when your head's cooled."

What the hell? Rukia felt her jaw unhinge as Ichigo escaped with her smart phone. But the shock didn't last long. Ignoring the imploring stares, she charged out the door and headed for Ichigo's private office. If she had to make him deaf in one ear to get his head on straight, then it'd be her pleasure.

Maddeningly enough Ichigo was reclining in the chair behind his large, wooden desk when she stormed in. He didn't even give the courtesy of acknowledging her entrance. Instead he waved his hand at her in a gesture that said 'close the door if you're gonna stay.'

He finally looked up when she slammed it closed.

"Oi, keep the noise to a minimum, Rukia. I haven't done anything and you know it."

"You took my cell for the hell of it, Ichigo! I think that is more than enough reason to cause some trouble." Sticking out her hand again, she sent Ichigo her most spiteful glare. "As long as you return it now I won't have to hurt you."

"Pfft, you hurt me? Is that even a threat?" he snorted, tilting his lips in a smile.

The thump of her heart told her that that damned smirk had a few unintended side effects. "J-just… Argh! Hand it over and let's move on, Ichigo. I have plenty of work to do and all of it's for your championship."

His response surprised her. "Ours."

"What?" Confused, Rukia moved back a step as Ichigo stood. Even leaning over his desk he towered over her.

"You said my championship. Don't you mean ours?"

"I… I don't understand." All of a sudden her mouth felt dry, like she hadn't had a drink in days. She attempted to gulp down a bit of spit but the muscles in her throat weren't working. All they did was constrict when she saw the resignation enter his face.

It was always a sight when Ichigo softened, the changes so subtle and rare that most would miss it. The way his furrowed brows would straighten, the edges of his lips would relax, and for a moment he looked vulnerable, nothing like the public image he'd created. But whenever the marble crumbled and revealed a mere man, Rukia always felt her pulse skip.

"You said that I'd win this year because of you." Quirking his head to the side, amusement lit his gaze. "I didn't believe you then, and I still don't know if I believe you now. But you surprised me before, and I think you may do it again."

Feeling self-conscious, she didn't dare meet his eyes. "I'm just doing my job. Y'know, building stuff and designing things…"

"But you're doing them for me," Ichigo smiled, indulgent.

"That's just 'cause- I mean that- But you…" Her stutters were barely words, hardly enough to be called rejection.

"See? You already admitted once that you needed me." He fished her phone from his pocket and gingerly flicked his thumb over the screen. Darting his eyes to the Chappy wallpaper, his words held more weight than either was willing to acknowledge.

"And since you have me, it's not like you need any other guys, right?"

It took a moment for her to process. Her eyes flitted between the brightly lit screen and Ichigo's face, as if searching for an answer where his words had come up empty. It didn't escape her how he refused to meet her or how embarrassment flooded his face, red coloring the tips of his ears.

With her brain not functioning, she said the first words that came to mind. "Was that a confession?" A beat of silence—one in which Ichigo neither confirmed nor denied. "Oh my God…"

"Is that really all you have to say?" he asked incredulously. Tightening his grip on her poor phone, Rukia was afraid he might actually crush it.

"You didn't answer my question!"

"I thought the thing before your question did answer it!"

"I don't know how you feel about me! I mean, you haven't even talked about our kiss! You swept it under the rug so fast I'm surprised I can still remember it!" And she did remember it, especially at the most inconvenient times. Sometimes she couldn't glance in his direction because of it and she'd taken to avoiding him, much to his chagrin.

He turned quiet then. She observed him closely as the emotions played out on his face. Shame and irritation and finally acceptance. So Ichigo did remember that little encounter? While the silent admission brought some relief, it carried a little pain too. It must've been a mistake for him, brought on by delirium and momentary excitement. But it hadn't been one for her and she wouldn't treat it as such.

"It's fine, Ichigo. You don't have to feel guilty," she said quietly. She needed to leave. "If you want to forget about it, then fine. I won't bring it up again."

"Are you fucking kidding me?" The hiss of his voice came out low, angry. Enough to make her head snap up to meet him straight on. "I feel guilty about it but not the way you seem to think I do."


"Idiot, I don't regret kissing you. I'd been trying not to do it for months and you were just too dumb to notice," Ichigo admitted, running a hand through his hair in frustration. "At the time, you were… I mean, it's like this…"

Rukia almost jumped when he looked her straight in the eye, giving off a silent 'I won't repeat this again so you better be listening.' And she was, as she tilted her head back after he rounded the table and took a few steps closer. And again, she thought she could smell the rinse of his shampoo when he leaned down and made himself very, very clear.

"The only thing I regretted was taking advantage of the situation. If you'd have been in your right mind, you wouldn't have kissed me back. I know that, you know that. And you'd have been right because there are way better places for a first kiss than a garage."

"So, what?" Her disbelief was nearly palpable. "It wasn't a mistake?"

"No way, kissing you?" And then he shot her a devastating smile, so unlike him that it was probably illegal in a few countries. "How could that ever be a mistake?"

Rukia wasn't so sure that an office was a better place for a second kiss, but the way Ichigo laughed against her lips and combed his fingers through her hair made her think that maybe anywhere was good enough with him.

So much so that it was annoyingly difficult to push him away. "W-wait a second," she stammered, catching her breath in hopes of retaining some coherent thought. Not that Ichigo cared for that idea, as he settled his chin in her hair and his hands into the curves of her pockets familiarly. Too familiarly.

Her words tangled. "I know that, uh, well now… Umm… What I'm trying to say is…"

"Do you need a second? Should I leave the room?" he offered. It was a joke but one she didn't appreciate.

"What's going on with you and Inoue?"

Her words came out in a pressurized spurt, sounding nearly like a single word. But Ichigo must've understood because he pulled away with a bewildered expression.

"I don't understand."

"It's a pretty straightforward thing, y' know." She rolled her eyes for effect. "What's your relationship with Inoue Orihime?"

"She's a friend who's doing the company a favor. Why? I don't get where this is coming from."

"That's not how everyone else sees it." After months of speculating on Orihime's frequent visits, it'd come down to bets in their garage about how long until they'd get together. The raucous laughter had rubbed her the wrong way but she hadn't understood why. Now she realized now that it was because she hadn't been ready to give up on Ichigo.

He scowled then, still not comprehending. "She's agreed to do some publicity for our company. Y'know, photo shoots and TV spots, stuff like that. Since she's an old friend, Inoue even refused pay. I don't know why anyone would do that but…"

Does he seriously not get it? Rukia's eyes went wide as her jaw almost crumpled to the floor. She watched as his gaze darted up and to the side, uncharacteristically contemplative. He didn't get it. This idiot had no idea that Orihime was in love with him and was doing all this for his sake. Deep down, a shock of pity ran through her as she gripped the bottom hem of his shirt.

I'm sorry, Inoue, Rukia said silently, as she angled Ichigo's face towards her. Because she knew there was no way she was going to be able to let him go. She regarded his surprise with a grin and pulled him down, possessively running her fingers through ginger hair.

Yeah, she could definitely get used to this.

Two months later

Rukia could feel the sweat bead against her skin, watching as the cars made their final lap around the track. Her hands gripped the railing beneath her fingers as the drivers took the first turn for the last time.

All the while, Ichigo trailed just behind the board leader.

"C'mon, Ichigo. C'mon…" she pleaded beneath her breath. Her agitation had made her unwanted as pit crew despite her constant begging. Her nervousness had made the others anxious, her already short temper even more volatile. And now was not the time for anyone to be losing their cool.

Her custom car took each obstacle with ease, charging to the front from the start and keeping up with the pack leaders. But aggressive driving and lengthy experience supplemented her innovations, leaving Ichigo vulnerable to their skill. He held in there though, taking their offensive and absorbing each cut-off and second loss. It was the best she'd ever seen him and it made her already bounding heart race.

In the quarter-mile, Ichigo's racer picked up speed. He wasn't going to back down, not until they'd reached that finish line. The leading driver was just as insistent, blocking him while maintaining that breakneck speed. It was with a skid that Ichigo held his place, knocking back a few that tailed him too closely but unable to overtake the man just in front of him.

Entering the last stretch, Rukia held her breath as she clenched her fingers so tightly she was sure she'd break skin. Adrenaline-infused apprehension rushed over the crowd as she watched Ichigo speed up again, going for the inside and the final kill. But his opponent was there to stop him, so quick she was impressed he hadn't spun out.

And that was all Ichigo needed.

Pressing on the break for just a second, Ichigo took advantage of the newly devised steering system and spun it in the opposite direction. He floored it a moment later, taking care to make that impossible maneuver without losing control. With a heavy swallow, Rukia watched Ichigo cross the finish line less than a second before his competitor.

It was to the sound of cheers and booming applause that Rukia sunk to the ground in the stands. Her grip didn't relax as she leaned her forehead against her arm and let it all hit her at once. And although it had been Ichigo claiming that victory Rukia was sure she'd never felt more accomplished than at this moment in her entire life. So much so that all she could do was smile as their team surrounded the newest champion, ruffling that signature orange hair and tossing their arms over him.

Definitely the best thing that ever happened to me, Rukia grinned privately as her eyes followed Ichigo approaching the group of talkative reporters and flashing cameramen. Unsteadily she made her way out of the seats and out the crowded door.

This atmosphere didn't suit her no matter how many times she was forced into it. Fine dining and professional racing didn't seem to have anything in common but sponsors were there to find their next face and the sport's organizers were always happy for their contributions.

There was no doubt who everyone was waiting for. Kurosaki Ichigo was the only name on everyone's lips, the perfect poster boy with a pretty face and a good name. There were millions to be made and they were willing to do just about anything to convince him.

Unconsciously, Rukia began to primp. The short bangs of her bob had been pinned to one side, showing off the graceful slope of her neck. The rich purple of her gown hugged her petite form, highlighting often ignored curves. The slit along the front rode dangerously high on her thigh, a stylistic choice that had her brother frowning in disapproval. But it'd been Hisana's fault since she'd chosen the dress, as well as the diamond jewelry set to match.

There's no point being nervous, stupid. It's just Ichigo. That idiot hasn't changed and he isn't about to start. But while he might've been the same, she decided that maybe she wasn't. The awareness was growing, a spine-tingling emotion that made her want to hide for cover.

Its potency had her sensitive the moment he stepped in through the door. With the booming applause and sudden rush of people to greet him, Rukia felt no need to fall over herself the way the others did. Instead something in the back of her mind had her reluctant to even look at him.

Distractedly, she made her way over to the buffet and tried to look busy. Sometimes she snuck glances in Ichigo's direction, berating herself for the farce. Why should she hide from him? She'd spent the last two months firmly at his side, even if no one else knew it. They weren't ready to be public yet. Not for lack of relationship but more out of comfort. That, and neither was too eager to have Byakuya literally breathing down Ichigo's neck.


Caught off-guard, Rukia fumbled with her half-filled plate. "I'm sorry, what?"

"I said congratulations, on your team's win." The dark-haired woman smiled, holding up a flute of champagne in cheers. Her red-hued lips were lifted in a vague grin. "I've heard that you were an irreplaceable part of their victory."

"Ah, no, you're giving me too much credit." Embarrassed, she held out a hand. "I don't believe I got your name. I'm Kuchiki Rukia."

"Kurosaki Karin. Sorry, I forgot that just because I know you it doesn't necessarily mean you know me," the girl laughed, eyes crescents as she shook her hand vigorously. "My brother told me all about you. Calls you too smart and stubborn for your own good but I think that's just him being caring."

"You're his sister?" she managed to squeak out, voice so high it even made her cringe. But this Karin girl was nice enough to merely laugh, not at all restrained in her confidence. Definitely someone worthy of being Ichigo's sister.

"Yeah, I'm four years younger. Right now I'm studying business in hopes of climbing the Shiba Corporate ladder," she said shyly. Like it was odd to work her way up. And for someone of her status, it sort of was.

"I see. Well I wish you the best of luck. I'm sure you can do it."

"Thank you. I'm actually a bit of a fan of yours."

"Really?" Surprised, Rukia almost dropped her plate again. "But… I don't think I've ever done anything worth that kind of praise."

"You just won my brother an international title on an engine built from scratch. If that's not worth some respect, then I don't know what is," Karin smiled slyly. "I know all about it because Ichi-nii wouldn't shut up about you. I really do admire all that you've done."

It was hard to stammer out a proper response when Karin bowed politely. She waved her hands about to stop her but it was useless. And honestly, Rukia was impressed by the girl's humility. There was a feeling in her gut that said this was a rare moment of it.

"I hope she's not bothering you, Kuchiki-san." A deep voice called their attention, as Rukia shook her head before greeting him. On the other hand Karin looked far less pleased, as she crossed one arm over her front and cradled her glass with an impatient frown. The newcomer was polite as he stood beside the younger woman, white hair falling into equally bright eyes.

"It's been a while, Hitsugaya-san. I'm surprised to see you here," Rukia said politely. "You took the year off, right? I heard you're recuperating from a previous injury."

"Yes I am. It's unfortunate. I would've enjoyed racing Kurosaki in that custom racer you built. I've been hearing that it's a cut above anything available right now." The words weren't shallow. Hitsugaya Toushirou was a genius, plain and simple. He just so happened to be a prodigy with an insatiable need for adventure, one that'd taken him out for the season. The fact that he was last year's champ wasn't lost on any of them.

"Even if you were there my brother wouldn't lose to you. He's only getting better," Karin assured him. Taking a sip from her glass, she sent him a haughty glare. "Next year too. My brother won't lose."

"Big talk for someone who knows nothing about racing."

Swerving her stare between the two, Rukia saw how Karin's fingers clenched around her flute and how Toushirou's coolness became a bit more arrogant. Very unlike him, she pondered to herself, as the two exchanged taunts with ease. As if they'd done it a million times before and would do so another million after.

"I don't know why I put up with you. Just because you and Ichi-nii were close as kids doesn't mean you get to act like you know me," Karin fumed. Putting down her drink, she moved to make a hasty escape. But Toushirou was faster.

Sliding an arm around her waist he muttered something into her ear, an act far too intimate on a solitary creature like Hitsugaya. And although Rukia guessed that it was meant to calm her, it didn't seem to be working. But even with the emerging scowl there was an underlying dynamic there, she was sure of it. She could see it in the way his fingers curled against the silk of Karin's dress and the way his lips gently touched the skin of her ear. It wasn't the kind of embrace friends or enemies would share.

"I see you two are getting along just fine."

"Ichigo." How he managed to battle his way to them was a mystery. Rukia felt a bit of self-consciousness eat at her and the immense urge to fix herself again. It was intolerable behavior and she'd berate herself properly for it later.

"Hey Rukia," he said, looking at her with fondness that still made her senses heighten. He had none of the airs that he wore like a shield and seeing it made her shoulders relax, as she regarded him with a smile.

"Congratulations, Kurosaki," Toushirou butted in, arm still looped around Karin's waist. The subtle struggle didn't go unnoticed. "Your driving was impressive but I can't say that it was all you, can I? Your partner there was the real hero behind this victory."

"Hey, you can't take Ichigo out of the equation so easily," Rukia butted in. "He worked hard, harder than anyone else, and I-"

But Ichigo just laughed. "That's just his way of praising people, Rukia. He can't say I did a good job without some kind of criticism. You learn the pattern after a few years with him."

"I'm not so predictable." But the reddening of his face said maybe he was.

"Yes, you are," Karin agreed readily as she finally freed herself from his iron grip. "Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to find someone who'll talk to me without feeling the need to hold me down."

It was with a huff that she escaped while three pairs of eyes followed after her. Rukia saw the disgruntled frown that folded Hitsugaya's lips before he too parted. Although he and Ichigo exchanged mutual handshakes, the frosty protectiveness didn't warm as their gazes met. It seemed that Hitsugaya had a ways to go before winning over the big brother.

"Are you doing alright by yourself?" Ichigo murmured, turning his back to the crowd. An obvious refusal for company if she'd ever seen one.

"Fine. Just fine," she lied between her teeth. Now that she could appreciate his nearness she wasn't as confident as she thought she was.

"You sure? You don't look fine."

"I am. You worry too much." Grabbing a glass from a passing waiter, she sipped thirstily.

"Is that so?" He sounded unconvinced but dropped it for a moment to appreciate Rukia wrapped in silk and studs. Better than her uniform but less so than her in nothing at all. Well, he couldn't always have his way.

Or could he? "Meet me in one hour. We're gonna leave early to celebrate, just the two of us." And then he was gone.

Karin monitored her brother from a distance, noting how he made his obligatory greetings and compliments with speedy efficiency. He doubtlessly wanted to get out of here. Ichigo hated crowded places, the feeling of pressure stifling his lung and eating away his freedom. And if she was right she knew exactly who he was going to escape with.

"You look happy." The voice caressed her ear and found a home in her bones. She hated it, how she fell right into his palm without him trying, but she also loved it. Because she loved him.

"I am. Ichi-nii looks like he's in a better mood than usual and I know exactly why," Karin smiled. She eyed the reason as she accepted a few praises about her design while rebuffing offers to transfer companies. Rukia wasn't going anywhere Ichigo wasn't.

"I really don't know how I feel about that look on your face," Toushirou chided, slipping in behind her and pressing a kiss to her neck. He appreciated the shiver that reverberated into his lips. "You're far too absorbed in Kurosaki's love life."

"Oh? And what else should I be paying attention to?" Karin asked, breathless as she felt a hand slide against her abdomen and the other along the back of her thigh.

"I did as you asked, Karin. I waited three years for you to graduate to keep Kurosaki from finding out about us. Don't you think I deserve something for my patience?" His voice was teasing. She could hear the smirk as he pressed her back to his front, hidden in a little corner with a flimsy drape working as their cover.

Excitement made her chuckle, feeling sultry as she turned in his embrace. "And what do you have in mind?"

All of a sudden the softness in Toushirou's eyes sharpened, as he regarded her with complete seriousness. "I won't rush you, you know."

"I know."

"You can trust me," he said as her fingers tightened along the lapel of his jacket.

"I know."

"And I don't want you to feel like you owe me anything…" Parting his lips, Karin kissed Hitsugaya with every intention of shutting him up. She did it so well that they stayed like that for a while, barely hidden as he swallowed the air between them in his pursuit of her. So much so that it was Karin who pulled away first, panting harshly against his mouth.

She wasted no time. "Don't you have somewhere you want to take me, Toushirou?"

Clasping hands, both of them left without saying a single goodbye.

Crammed into Ichigo's sports car, Rukia felt some of the tension from the party drift away. Quiet replaced expectation and critiquing gazes, especially the ones who'd looked at her and Ichigo with growing suspicion. Perhaps they wanted someone more of Inoue's caliber, smiling and conventionally pretty and sweet. Not at all like Rukia's ruthless wit and scathing sarcasm.

But no one was any wiser to their relationship status and they were fine with that. Their privacy was important and they didn't need the world's justification. Each other was enough for now.

"So, where are we going exactly?" Rukia inquired, trying not to be too obvious. She must've been more transparent than she thought because Ichigo snorted in disbelief.

"You can't just let it be a surprise, can you?"

"When you want to escape I feel like I should always be on-guard," she glared at him. Her suspicions were justified, as much as he hated to admit it. He'd never been particularly good at self-control when he really wanted something. "So no, I can't handle a surprise. Who knows what you're going to do to me."

"You know exactly what I'm going to do."

The heat he shot her, so warm despite the nonchalance of his features, made Rukia sputter in outrage. She was the daughter of an esteemed family, a gentle maiden by upbringing (if one forgot about her obvious boyishness). Those sorts of innuendos weren't appropriate talk for people of their lineage.

"Ichigo, you can't say something like that! That kind of thing... It's just, it's not how you're supposed to talk about that kind of stuff."

He shrugged, uncaring as they zipped down the deserted highway. "There's no need to be shy, Rukia. I've seen you in far more embarrassing situations." He smirked here as he took an exit. "Want me to tell you which ones are my favorites?"

"That so-called humor is going to get you in trouble one day."

"Yeah but you like my kind of trouble."

Grumbling, she sat back and crossed her arms over her chest, beaten. She was still adjusting to this side of Ichigo. It was unlike that of most lovers, who spoke in sparse but emotion-filled poems. He wasn't any good at subtle. But he could tease and he was good at it. And not with just words, she mused, blushing brightly as her mind wandered. There was a reason why so many women coveted that spot beside him. She just hadn't realized why they wanted to stay so badly until now.

Eventually they pulled up to a familiar gray building, the windows dark with the absence of workers. Rukia was baffled as to why they'd ended up here. She stepped out of the car as the wind bit into her pale skin. Why would she need to go to a place that she was normally at every day of her life?

"What's going on? Why're we at the garage?" Rukia asked, clambering behind him as he held her fingers with his own.

"Because this is where you want to be most tonight."

"Huh?" Her puzzlement made her stumble but Ichigo was there to catch her.

"After I won, you didn't come down and really enjoy our win," he explained, voice softer than usual. "But you wanted to, right? There just wasn't a right time."

She didn't respond immediately, too dumbstruck to process his words. So he led her to the back of the compound, the path alien in the dark. Their footsteps echoed in the empty halls and bounced alongside them. All the way until they got to the garage and Ichigo flipped the switch that forced the lights on.

Rukia recoiled for a moment, blinded. Sitting off to the side was her prized racer and she knew that what Ichigo said was true. She didn't want glory or praise. All she wanted was to bask in the self-satisfaction of her work, she thought, as she walked over and slipped her fingers over the lacquered hood. From behind her, Ichigo trailed his gaze over her with interest.

"Thank you," she said suddenly, turning back to him as she sat against its side. He wondered if she knew how tempting she looked, leaning back against her arms as she propped one heel into the metal of a tire. His stare was forced to the slit that revealed far more leg than she intended to show.

Not that he minded, of course. "For what?" he shrugged, taking his time to stand before her. And even though he was much larger than Rukia, he loved how she never shrunk away. He admired people comfortable in their own skin.

"For bringing me here. For knowing how much I needed this." She tilted a small smile up at him, so child-like and sweet he immediately reacted to it. And not for the first time, Ichigo desperately wanted to ruin Rukia's composure.

"You're giving me too much credit."

"Oh really? Then, what? You have any other plans for me?" Rukia laughed.

He did, and none of them were as good as she thought they were. "Maybe," he answered, sliding his arms on either side of her body. "When it comes to you, it seems I'm always planning something."

"Ichigo," she stammered, surprised when his head dipped into the crevice of her shoulder and pressed a hot kiss against her pulse. It pounded back in answer, warmer and stronger as his tongue made a swipe at it. "This isn't the place to be doing this."

"Right now this is the only place we should be doing this," he chuckled, standing up to undo the bow around his neck and run a hand through his styled hair. It only made him look more like himself, rebellious and untamed, the image that woman usually associated with the outspoken race car driver. But the way his face melted into a caring smile was a striking contrast, enough to make Rukia's mouth go dry.

"W-we could be found out."

"There's no one here. They're out celebrating, remember?"

"And we should be doing that too! Just not, y'know, here," Rukia reasoned fruitlessly, as Ichigo tossed off his jacket. It was with abject fascination she watched him unbutton the front of his shirt, eyes wide as perfect planes of tan skin peaked between sheets of white.

"We are. It's a private party," he countered, as he rested his hands on either side of her again. He pushed in so close that she was forced to lie back against the cool steel of the car, her short hair fanning out in tiny waves.

"You wanna have car sex to celebrate our championship?" she asked indelicately. She was too stunned to even try and apply a filter to her mouth, as a hand began creeping up the side of her right knee and beneath the hem. "This is crazy. You're crazy!"

"You should've thought about that before you put on this dress," he snorted before nudging his nose against the softness of her cheek. "No one was thinking pure thoughts when they saw you in this. Why should I be any different?"

"Hey, I got lots of compliments about this gown!"

"Yes, but none of those men were thinking about keeping you in it," he growled, meeting her haughty frown with his own. "Don't be mad because I'm right."

"I'm mad because you want to use your win as an excuse to do something perverted!"

"What, like you don't have fantasies?" He raised a knowing brow and watched as Rukia turned scarlet. As much of a good girl she pretended to be, Ichigo knew that was only a façade. Rukia was strong and spirited, the kind of woman who gave nothing but everything in her endeavors. Her love life was no different.

He needed to stop all that thinking of hers before it ruined his plans for the night. After seeing her bent over, working under, and pressed up against his car, was it really any wonder why he wanted her like this? That uniform he initially hated was becoming one of his favorite pieces of clothing, one he was happy to feel her through whenever he caught her in a corner and kept her busy with something far better than work.

He used his extensive knowledge of her body to stop any and all protests by kissing her soundly on the lips, with just enough pressure to have her arching into him just as quickly. It was their pattern. A little fighting was to be expected with the two of the together but it always ended the same. There was no better high than finding himself imbedded deep inside Rukia as she clutched at his shoulders and screamed his name. His only thought was what her voice might sound like echoing off these hollow walls and high ceiling.

Let's find out. He parted from her with regret as he made his way to the sensitive shell of her ear. Ichigo could hear her panting breaths, hands grabbing at the collar of his open shirt to lead him back. This was one of the many things he adored about Rukia. Her iron-wrought shell was smooth and cold to touch but that's all it was. Inside was a warm and gracious soul, with an insatiable need that rivaled his own.

Dainty fingers trailed up the soft skin of his chest, applying pressure that made him inhale sharply with a curse. Rukia giggled then, the sound nothing like the innocent laughter most heard. It was heady and sure, as if she knew just how much power she could exert and was just waiting to strike.

But that was fine with him. He'd make have her many times before she could use it.

They divested of their clothes with purpose. The dance was comfortable and easy—they'd shared a bed more times than they could count, after all—but never boring. Sometimes it was fast and rough, sheets of cloth in pieces and pretty buttons left rolling about the floor in their haste. Other times half the excitement was leaving them on, using them as tools in their seduction.

For Ichigo, there were fewer things better than Rukia in one of her pretty little sundresses as she buried him deep into her body and showed him things he'd never be able to live without. The slightest tightening around his dick had his hips arching into while she threw her head back and cried his name in broken syllables. There was something about the little pleas her lips made that made him go crazy as his hand cradled her bottom while the other slipped beneath her skirt to find her most sensitive place.

Tonight they wouldn't taking it slow. Maybe another round after he'd sated the itch she always induced. Seeing her in that gown that screamed of candlelight and locked doors for everyone to see had left a bad taste in his mouth. And Ichigo was not an easily jealous man. He'd happily share many things but Rukia's softness was reserved for him. And those moments were for after he'd made love to her and she rested against his chest; only then did he want to see her so pretty.

It was with gentle fingers that Ichigo found the zipper along her back while he made his way down the line of her neck. He followed the trail of skin with bites and sucks as more of her was revealed to him, smiling at uncovered collarbones and delicate ridges. What he did not appreciate was the sudden intrusion of foreign fingers that kept the dress in place.

Glaring up, he watched the embarrassment splash over Rukia's face. This was no time to be shy. He was celebrating and this was not the way to be doing it.

"You know you should be used to this by now," Ichigo grumbled as he nipped at the edge of her dress. He took his time to lick at her fingertips, slanting his eyes upward while he slid one into his mouth. The jump of her throat as she swallowed made his smirk as he sucked on the sensitive digit, making a show of swirling his tongue in skillful demonstration.

But Rukia had never taken to being seduced well. She liked the ability to make men waver and fall to their knees, both literally and figuratively. So what if she was the one who was pinned to the hood of a car? It didn't mean she wasn't in total control.

She showed him by moving forward and capturing Ichigo's lips in a teasing kiss. Nothing special, just a peck really, but she lingered in that way that had men desperate for more. The touch of her nose against his, the way she squinted between her long lashes and the smallest upturn of her lips. These were the things that drove men to madness and Ichigo was only just a man.

It took everything Rukia had to not laugh when he pushed her back down and tore her grip from the silk, only to let it slide to the ground. He'd never been so thankful that she'd gone without a bra as his fingers sought the sensitive peaks of her breasts.

The rest of their clothing fell away like petals soon after. Her fingers made quick work of his belt and pants while he pushed her lace underwear down past her heels. But he'd left the dark purple stilettos, finding the combination only worked in favor of his fantasy. The idea of her thighs parting with her legs elongated by those heels only made him work that much harder.

Surprise literally hit him as Rukia sat up and pushed him to stand. He was about to protest the position when he felt her lips journey from the notch at his throat and down his chest with purpose. With each viable lick Ichigo could feel whatever control he had waning, as he looked down at Rukia's crescent-closed eyes and cherry lips. Her tongue darted out as she tasted patches of salty skin, her expression twisting into the stuff only wet dreams could conjure.

She's going to kill me, he groaned, not at all unhappy when Rukia made quick work of his underwear. Standing straight and tall, Ichigo wasn't sure he had enough courage to look at her then. If he did, their first round would end embarrassingly soon. On the other hand, there was nothing better than watching Rukia swallow him whole, so eager to please that he wouldn't mind cumming inside that perfect pout. So it was with reluctant eyes that he slit his gaze open enough to look down at her. And just like he knew it would, the single look she shot him would be his undoing.

With glazed, lustful eyes, Rukia gave him the tiniest smile before wrapping her lips around his head with a happy hum. The vibration shot straight into his bones, making him shudder as he gripped dark hair between his fingers. Time seemed to slow as Rukia took him deeper into his mouth with fluid pumps, dragging her tongue along hot skin with skill he was almost upset she had. But the point was moot. As long as no other man would know of it he was content with that.

But Rukia was far from done with her teasing. If Ichigo was going to use their win as an excuse to live out a little fantasy, shouldn't she do the same? The idea made her chuckle deep in her throat just before she swallowed him whole, taking the drops of precum at the tip with a thirsty gulp. The unintended yelp she got in return only made her come back him harder, using her hands to tease him as she swirled the peak of his head with the tip of her tongue. And although she winced at the gentle thrusts and pulling of her hair, it was well worth each and every groan that fell from Ichigo's lips.

Eventually Ichigo had to push her away, though he hated to do it. On any other occasion he'd happily come in Rukia's pert little mouth and watch her swallow his cum, her eyes glazed with unadulerated lust. The idea took him too dangerously close to the edge, as he forced himself away from her inviting heat to catch his breath. He could only watch with awe as Rukia licked at her slick lips when she sat up, running her fingers over the abused skin with purpose.

Ichigo gave her a confused look as Rukia settled both feet on the ground and sat against the edge of the racer. With her dress in a puddle at her feet and skin littered with marks that wouldn't disappear anytime soon, she looked like something he'd dream up late at night. Maybe because she was always the last thing he thought of before sleep claimed him.

He was almost stupid enough to open his mouth and ask her what she wanted. Almost because Ichigo nearly choked on his spit as Rukia turned her back to him. She threw him a sultry look over her shoulder as his eyes fell to that heart-shaped ass he spent far more time grabbing than was proper for a man of his status. But no one could deny that Rukia's meager curves were anything less than perfection, as he trailed his gaze up the line of her spine and finally to the glint of mischief in her eyes.

And then his mouth went dry.

Sliding her hands along gleaming metal, Rukia wore only a smile as she bowed her back and leaned forward, spreading her legs with calculating sexiness. It took far too long for Ichigo to remember to breathe as he gazed longingly at the pinkness that caught his eyes. He'd seen her like this before, tasted her on his tongue, musk and all, and had become addicted to every inch of her existence. But seeing Rukia offer herself to him so blatantly was making any thought with his northern head completely and utterly impossible.

"Don't you dare complain about anything if this is what you're going to do to me," Ichigo growled, grabbing at her narrow hips and lining himself against her heat. The sudden gasp she let out only fanned the fire, as she glanced up at him with a shy, knowing grin. She was his partner just as much as she was his lover, and he knew that Rukia trusted him implicitly.

He remembered that as he began kissing his way down her spine, making love to her with soft pets and nibbles against the muscles of her back. He remembered that as he rubbed himself against the wet crevice between her thighs, listening to her whines as he intentionally ground against her swollen clit. He remembered that as he whispered he loved her into every inch of her skin.

Eventually he found himself kneeling between her legs, holding her knees in each hand. Taking a deep whiff, he could smell the arousal on her. But he could help that along, he grinned to himself, as he darted a tongue into her without any of the finesse he was known for. The cry of pleasure he got in return was well worth his impatience.

With eager lips and fingers he prepared her, eating at the heat reserved only for him. Dew caught in droplets against his skin as he fucked her with his tongue the way his body so desperately needed to. And she cried with every touch, her elbows weakening so she was forced to press her face into the hood as she rocked against him. All he wanted to feed her nirvana, let it overwhlem her in long, lasting waves. By the crying and jutting of her hips against his face, he was doing a damn good job.

He finally pulled away when he felt her shaking knees became jelly against his touch. She was far too close to her climax and he couldn't have her jumping without him. So when he finally slid into her, Ichigo wasn't sure whether to thank God or lose himself in the perfection that was Rukia. She would probably always be just a little too snug for him, her size a constant reminder that he had to be gentler with her, but the way her body accepted every inch of him was almost too much to bear.

It only took a few strokes for him to find his rhythm, positively floating when Rukia pushed back against him with her plump backside and the prettiest little moan. He reached for her breast while another anchored her hip so she wouldn't get too far. Ichigo couldn't afford to let her get away until they were both well sated.

And that didn't happen for a long while. Even after their first climax, as Rukia cried his name over and and over until he was sure he'd never be able to come to this garage without having her against the nearest bench, they didn't stop.

They were high on their victory and each other to the point that they couldn't get enough. It was why Rukia pushed Ichigo down moments later, sucking at unblemished skin as she rubbed her core against the jut of his hip in need. It was only a matter of time before he was hard for her again, his fingers playing with warm, wet folds as Ichigo watched with lazy fascination. Crawling on top of him, Rukia sighed happily as she slid down onto him, teasing her breasts as she pumped her hips in circles until he was begging her to stay still long enough so that he could rock her into oblivion.

Their adventures continued when Ichigo climbed into the front seat and signalled for Rukia to climb in with him. With some trepidation, she crawled into his lap as he made love to her mouth with long, hard licks of his tongue. It was the same movement he made when he pulled her onto his cock, as she gripped the steering wheel with trembling hands. He would never understand how she knew just the way to hold him, to the point his hips came off the leather just so he could fuck her harder, faster.

They finally managed to stop when they both came pressed against each other's chest, her legs wrapped around his hips as he drove one last thrust into her slick but ever-willing body. Wrapped up in each others' arms, they panted in harsh breaths, seeking comfort and purchase in raw, reddened marks. And eventually the afterglow settled when he reclined against the cool metal of the car, refusing to withdraw from her body as long as he could.

Their silence lasted but not long. "If this is what you do when you win, I'm glad we didn't lose," Rukia chuckled, nestling into his embrace. "What would we have done then? Angry comfort sex? Would that also take place on a race car?"

"Probably. The events leading up to sex are variable but the outcome is inevitable." He mockingly frowned at the little slap against his chest but smiled when she rubbed at it in apology.

"Seriously, what am I gonna do with you?" Pushing herself to her elbows, Rukia regarded him with something akin to amusement and happiness. It was the only look he ever wanted to see on her face.

"You're going to stay here and build more racers and eventually marry me and have a dozen racer babies."

"Get real, Ichigo!" she laughed. But then she stopped and looked him dead in the eye. "Or… are you serious?"

"I dunno, you tell me, Rukia," he said solemnly, pulling her up so they came face-to-face. "Aren't you the one who predicted this?"

"What'd you mean?"

"You said you'd win me my championship, and that you'd be the best thing that ever happened to me." Running a hand from her hair to the nape of her neck, Ichigo watched Rukia with reverence she hadn't known he was capable of. "You've been right so far."

"I didn't predict this!" She waved her hands spastically, indicating their compromising position.

An uncaring shrug. "Oh? Maybe it was me then."

"Ichigo," Rukia scowled, reaching to tug his hair. The rumble of laughter wasn't appreciated, though the light in his eyes did soothe her temper a little. Settling back against him, she enjoyed the caress of his fingers against her skin. There was no askance in them, just silent admiration for all that she was. Because where words failed him, somehow Ichigo knew exactly how to express the things that were most important.

Who knows? Maybe little racer babies aren't too bad of an idea, she mused to herself, as she cuddled against Ichigo and pondered all the possibilities.


AN: And that's all there is~ I hope you liked Accelerando. I don't know when my next IchiRuki fic will come out but hopefully soon enough. Well, not too soon. I have too many fics I need to update. :/

Thanks for reading, everybody! Until next time~