Title: Study Guide
Theme: Life through Manga
Pairing: There could be slight IchigoxRukia, but I think there's actually none. --;;
Rating: PG for bad words?
Summary: Rukia studies the behavior of humans with the help of pop-culture visual aides.
Word Count: 1,612
Time: 45 mins (no editing again. D'oh!)
Dedication: Ivan. Because he had the easiest request to write and I lub him for it (damn you Vinnie!!!). Yay for easy topics.
A/N: I am still a lot of OOC with this whole Bleach thing, but I think it's cuz I went on that binge and read about a chapter every 2 minutes. Talk about no time to reflect. Anyhow, hope this at least makes someone laugh a little.
Rukia didn't understand. Well, not really. She understood what was happening. What she didn't quite understand what was so appealing about the boy that this idiot girl was constantly crying, cooing, sighing, dying about. It all seemed rather ridiculous to her, but when Orihime had asked if she'd wanted to borrow her manga, Rukia hadn't known what to say besides yes.
But as she'd carried the book around school that day, she'd been stopped so many times by other classmates, all cooing and sighing about how wonderful it was, how true to life and beautiful. That it was a series that truly reflected the plight of girls their age in today's society.
Hearing that, the former Shinigami couldn't have done anything but look into it, congratulating herself on stumbling upon a study guide that would better suit her adaptation in this mortal world than perhaps, her past sources had. Ichigo certainly bitched enough about her complete incompetence when it came to being 'normal'. At first, she wasn't so sure what a mortal who could break her demon magic would know about being normal, but as she observed more and more, the customs of these things called teenagers, she was convinced that yes, perhaps her previous guides had been a bit outdated.
So here she was. Apparently this was how human girls were expected to act. And then human boys fawned all over them but in idiotic ways and never said anything worth saying, and then other girls would come in and muck up the equation, and then other boys would come in and continue to be idiotic, and the whole mess would keep spiraling until she was rather annoyed with the whole spectacle and thought that if a Hollow ate everyone good riddance, because life would be that much simpler.
Orihime had given her 7 volumes. Rukia hoped the pages inside the pink and yellow-pastel binding would become interesting soon or she would be sorely tempted to let the whole human race stew in their pathetic problems, left to fend for themselves against the Hollows because she just couldn't respect them anymore ever again for allowing themselves to be so idiotic.
She jumped slightly when the door to Ichigo's room burst open and the replacement shinigami strode in, balancing a tray of hot food in both hands. "Oi…Rukia, you here?" He knocked on the closet door. "Dinner's on."
Grateful for the reprieve, Rukia slid the door open and stepped off of her perch, manga still in one hand, index finger keeping track of the page she'd stopped at.
He eyed her curiously. "What's that?" he grunted, thrusting his chin towards the book.
"Inoue-san let me borrow her manga this afternoon."
Ichigo blinked. "Manga?"
The shinigami nodded.
"And you're reading it?"
She nodded again.
He blinked. "Why?"
Scowling at him, she glanced at the last page she was on before letting the book slide shut and thrust it at him before sitting down at the desk to her tray. "I was informed that it was a comprehensive text on the behavior of young people during this day and age."
The orange-haired boy snorted and studied the cover, frowning at the girl and the boy holding each other lovingly on it. "This shit?"
Rukia sipped at her miso and shrugged one shoulder. "A vast majority of our classmates seemed knowledgeable as to its contents."
"You kidding me?" Ichigo tossed it off onto his bed. "That stuff's complete bullshit."
Rukia blinked. "Really?"
He nodded. "I mean c'mon, who talks like that? Who looks like that? I wouldn'ta even been able to tell which one was the guy on the cover if he wasn't wearing a boy's uniform. Che. Shoujo's so full of crap."
Rukia frowned. "You mean males of your age group don't also…"
"Hell no. Well, not the ones who like girls don't anyway," he grunted, glancing warily back over at the manga he'd thrown onto his bed like maybe it wasn't a good idea to let that thing linger there for fear of contamination.
"Oh. Well, then I suppose it's pointless to continue reading. I was getting sick of the repetitiveness anyway."
"Che. Tell me about it. Yuzu's crazy over that series. I can't even stand just hearing her talk about it."
"It's a bit comforting to know that high school girls aren't all complete idiots," Rukia agreed, munching heartily on her rice.
They sat in silence for a little bit, Rukia finishing off her food neatly and setting the tray aside for Ichigo to take back down. However, curious, she turned around in his chair and regarded him thoughtfully.
"What are you looking at?" he barked, squirming a bit under her gaze.
"What do boys your age read then?"
"Huh? Oh.. uh…guy's stuff, I guess," he responded aloofly, not really wanting to get into it. The last thing he needed was Rukia getting any ideas about how reality operated through the likes of ninjas or super-pirates or giant flying robots or basketball players that could light balls on fire with their energy.
"Is it more interesting than Inoue-san's books?"
"Che, of course it is. Why would I want to read something boring?" he asked, looking at her oddly.
She frowned. "No need to be condescending about your cartoon-books."
"Yeah, whatever." He got up to take the tray back downstairs and wash up. "You're probably better off sticking to Inoue-san's stuff," he suggested. "I think mine would just confuse you anyway."
She scowled after him, irritated by his attitude. She was sure his reading material couldn't be any worse than Orihime's, considering what a reckless idiot he could be.
Feeling oddly jilted, she stood up after he left and turned towards his bookshelf on her own, deciding that she would be the judge of just how passable his reading tastes were (as she was as impartial a person who could be found) in comparison to his female classmates. After a discerning perusal, she plucked out three volumes of something with what looked like two sweaty men brawling on the cover.
Settling back comfortably in the closet, she began to read.
The next day at school, Rukia didn't show up. By the time lunch rolled around Ichigo was slightly concerned, and in an agitated enough mood that it showed, which just made him angrier.
"Ne I-chi-go!!! Are you worried about the beautiful Rukia-chan?" Keigo sing-songed, smiling so broadly Ichigo wanted to sort-of-kind-of break his face a little bit.
"Shut the hell up," he shot back instead, concentrating on his lunch and not his urge to pummel his friend. "And don't be so goddamn familiar. She's only been around for a few weeks, asshole," he added, snappishly.
Keigo laughed gleefully and retreated to sit next to Kurosaki, looking up at the sky dreamily. "No need to say it, no need, my dear friend. How long have we known each other? Kuchiki-san's presence is so captivating that you're…"
Ichigo's hand shot out and shoved him sideways. "Shut the hell up," he repeated around a mouthful of rice.
"Oh, the violence!!" Keigo wailed over-dramatically. "Does this mean then, that I have your blessing to go after Kuchiki-san myself, Ichigo?"
Ichigo decided it was about time to stop fighting his instincts and punch Keigo in his stupid face.
"Oi, Ichigo…" Chad started, finally making his presence known just as the other boy was rolling his sleeves up to kill Keigo.
Chad pointed out somewhere behind him.
He turned around.
Rukia stood in the doorway, looking like she hadn't gotten any sleep and clutching some sort of comic to her chest.
Ichigo frowned. It was. Forgetting all about Keigo, he marched up to her, crossing his arms and scowling down at her. "What the hell, Rukia?" he growled, nodding towards his Hajime no Ippo manga.
"Do you have more?"
"Why the hell are you reading my Ippo!?"
She smiled shakily. "It's brilliant," she exclaimed. "It's philosophies on honor and battle are truly representative of not only human ideals but those of the shinigami as well!"
He sighed and shook his head, hoping to god she wouldn't become some sort of sick fangirl or something. "Rukia…give me the manga."
She hopped backwards, still clutching the comic. "No."
"If you desire it more than I do, then fight me for it!" she challenged.
He almost face-faulted. "What?"
"Fight me," she repeated, manga pressed against her chest and a kind of scary expression on her face that he'd only seen on the scariest of otaku before.
Oh, this wasn't good. "Rukia, I'd wipe the floor with you," he stated flatly, beginning to lose his temper again.
"If one desires something enough, he can prove himself no matter the obstacle and triumph over overwhelming odds."
He slapped himself in the forehead. "Rukia, that kind of bullshit only happens in manga," he intoned, reaching for his comic again. "And I think you shouldn't read any more of anything. Ever…"
Rukia's little fist shot out and clipped Ichigo smartly in the jaw before he knew what was happening, and sent him spiraling down to the ground with a garbled sound of surprise.
Ichigo's friends watched in stunned awe.
"Chad…did she just…"
"Kyaaa!!! Rukia-chan is so cute like that!!!" Keigo swooned, watching her as she planted a foot on Ichigo's back and laughed victory, holding her manga-holding hand up like a champion boxer.
"Rukia, I'm going to kill you…" Ichigo growled, his face pressed into the concrete.
"Train a million years before you can beat me!" she crowed, flashing a V-sign.
At least she hadn't gotten hold of Naruto.