Author's Notes: Yeah, here's another one. Bear with me while I churn out these small scenes. It really helps me learn to write their characters before tackling something longer.

Shatter Me

She stood there, blood running down her shoulder and exposed arm, her school uniform ripped in several places, blue-violet eyes cool and unrepentant in the face of his wrath. He marched right up to her, using his physical superiority to loom over her, one hand still fisted around the hilt of his sword. He was breathing heavily from his fight with the Hollow, but he used the power of his pent up breath to yell at her, his face reflecting his righteous anger.

"What the hell do you think you're doing? You're gonna get yourself killed! I thought you were smarter than to fight without me!" he growled, taking a step forward, a primal part of him satisfied when she took an involuntary step back. He was angry, so very angry, as angry as he had ever been at her, and not least because he was also afraid. Fear and fury spurred him on, making him lash out because the only other option would have been to grab her and crush her to him.

"Don't yell at me, Ichigo!" she shouted, her face flushed, eyes flashing. She had to tilt her head back to meet his gaze. "I couldn't just let it go around destroying things! And besides, I had no idea where you were, you might have been— "

"I don't care!" he snapped, "Are you trying to get yourself killed? I mean it, Rukia, don't do this ever again! You might not be so lucky next time."

He could actually feel her temper flare as she stood there, trembling with suppressed rage. "What do you mean 'lucky'?" Her voice had dropped to a level he knew to be dangerous but he was beyond control. The image of her slumped against the wall, bloody, being ruthlessly crushed by the Hollow's massive hand, her mouth open in a soundless scream… It had ignited something in him, all restraints falling away as he realized that if he had come just a second later Rukia might have been…might have been…

He gritted his teeth. "I mean I might not be there to save you next time!"

Her eyes widened and she leaned forward, white with anger. "Listen, you! I don't need you to save me! I'm perfectly fine on my ow— "

Rukia was forced to swallow her words as Ichigo suddenly grabbed her arm, pulled her forward until her slight body was right against his, and kissed her. Hard.

She couldn't breathe when he finally pulled away, his eyes dark and still smoldering with anger and something else she couldn't put a name to. She stood there, struck silent, shaky fingers rising to touch her swollen lips. Staring at him, she could feel the latent fire that was always between them roaring like an inferno, sparks fizzing. She struggled for air.

His hand was still wrapped around her wrist. "Never again, Rukia," he said, his voice somehow gruff and hoarse at the same time. "Promise me. Never again, not without me."

Something shivered in her chest at the look he was giving her. "Never again," she agreed softly, somehow highly aware of Ichigo's body so close to hers, and how much more powerful he seemed at that moment. She felt… small, lost.

Ichigo leaned down again. She stood on tiptoe.

And found herself in him.

THE END.