Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach. Otherwise I'd be filthy rich and giving you all life sized Ichigo dolls instead of writing n00by fanfic.
Lame title aside, (yes, it was the best thing I could think of), enjoy. :)
Mario, Mr. Chappy, and a Mouthful of Onigiri
The first school trip of the year. Everyone was excited, even if it was just a nature walk. It was May, and the trees gently swayed with a breath of the warm wind. The sun shone brightly, and the lake glistened as the sunlight danced across its surface. The students chattered excitedly as the teacher tried to call out over their conversation.
"Everybody, settle down, you'll have lots of time to talk afterwards. I'm going to check the attendance and we'll begin our walk," he neatly pulled a list from his book bag and proceeded to call on the students.
Rukia, however, barely paid attention. Her eyes were fixated on the small handheld device Ichigo had shown her. What was it called again? Oh yes, a Gameboy. She didn't understand how anyone had managed to put all those people and creatures in the little box, but she thought it was great fun. The game was quite easy to grasp; Ichigo had taught her on the bus ride earlier. All you have to do is kill the monsters, and rescue the princess Peach.
Ichigo yawned as he watched Rukia's nimble fingers control Mario, jumping on mushroom after mushroom. The teacher's voice droned on; he had barely gone through half the list of students. He quickly glanced at her rucksack. A moment ago, it looked as if it had twitched. Ichigo hoped he was only imagining things because of lack of sleep. 'She better not have brought that annoying thing Kon along,'he rolled his eyes,'that thing will go anywhere with her. It's not like he's of much use either.'
"Kuchiki Rukia," the teacher called out.
Rukia had not heard him, and continued playing. 'So close to the next level…' she furrowed her eyebrows as the tiny figure jumped across a chasm, and kept on running across the screen.
"Kuchiki Rukia," he called again, voice slightly raised and less patient. Ichigo nudged her.
Still, she had not heard him, nor felt Ichigo's elbow. 'Just one more hit… and I'll be finished the level,' she bit her lip as she dodged a fireball.
"Kuchiki Rukia?" the teacher called once more, impatience ringing clearly in the air.
"YES!!!" she yelled out in excitement, "K.O.! Onto the next level!"
The chatter stopped and everyone stared at her. The cheery music from the Gameboy continued to play, and almost immediately, Rukia whipped the toy behind her back, attempting to muffle the melody. Ichigo reached behind her, blindly feeling for the volume dial. She felt a blush creeping up her face as their fingers contacted briefly. Slowly, the music died down, and she noticed the teacher was still looking at her, eyebrow raised in question.
"Yes… yes, I'm here…" Rukia mumbled as her cheeks flushed an even brighter shade of pink.
"You're quite enthusiastic today, Kuchiki," the teacher commented as he checked her name off. "Kurosaki Ichigo."
"Present," Ichigo looked towards her. She was at it again, once again immersed in the wonderful world of Mario. Her eyebrows were knotted in disappointment; Peach has turned into a toad… again.
"Ichigo," she whispered, "how many more levels does this game have? The toads keep pretending to be Peach."
He snorted at Rukia's confused face, "You're only on level three; of course the game's not finished yet."
"Oh," she said quietly as she looked back down at the screen. The red light was flashing. "Ichigo," she tugged at his sleeve, "the light's flashing. What does it mean?"
Ichigo lazily glanced at the Gameboy. "The batteries are running out," he said flatly as he started walking, and Rukia hurried to keep up with his long strides.
"What does that mean!? What's a batteries!?" she asked as she looked between Ichigo and the flashing light.
"It'll shut down, because there's no more energy for the Gameboy to function."
"Does that mean I'll have to start over again once we catch the batteries and put them back in?" she said frantically.
Ichigo wanted to laugh out loud, but after seeing Rukia's serious expression, he thought it best not to. "Not if you save the game."
"Aren't you supposed to be saving Peach? How do you save the game then?" she became more baffled as Ichigo tried to explain.
"You just pause the game, and select save. Then pick an empty game slot."
"Where? How do you do that?"
"Here, give it to me before it shuts down." Ichigo tried to pry the toy out of her hands.
"No, just show me. I can do it myself." Rukia said indignantly, and then pulled away before he could take it from her.
"Press the start button." Ichigo sighed as he looked over her shoulder.
"This one?" Rukia gulped, he was so close to her. She could see his shadow overlap hers on the ground.
"Yes, it says start. Press it." He was close enough to feel her hair tickling his neck. Her hair smelled nice. Was it the shampoo or does she smell like that anyways? Either way, Ichigo liked it.
The Gameboy started beeping. It wouldn't be long before it shut down.
"Then what? How do I select save?" Rukia tensed as she felt her shoulder brush against him.
"Press A. Yes, that one. It says A, so press it." He almost crashed into her when she hesitated for a bit. "Keep walking, or we'll be left behind."
"Oh, I see now. How can you tell if it's empty?" Rukia started walking again.
"They're all full, so just overwrite the first slot."
"How do you do that then?" Ichigo always confused her, the way he speaks, the way he acts, the way he does everything.
The Gameboy's beeping was gradually becoming softer.
Ichigo saw Rukia grin as the word 'saved' appeared on the screen before the images faded away. He watched as she put the Gameboy away in her rucksack. 'Good,' he thought as he peeked into her bag, 'No Kon in there.' All of a sudden, it seemed awfully quiet; they couldn't hear their classmates' gossiping anymore. The group was nowhere in sight and the two had come upon a fork in the road.
"Well, good job. We're lost now," he groaned.
Rukia gasped, and her eyes lit up with glee. Ichigo looked to where she was pointing. It was only a brown furry ball. No, wait, it was a rabbit.
"Look!" she squealed excitedly. The rabbit was staring at them, with its big brown eyes.
"It's ugly," he said bluntly.
"It's adorable," Rukia said, and she tried to walk closer to the rabbit, who was frozen in terror. A twig snapped under her foot, and the rabbit ran off into the left road. "No, come back Mr. Chappy!" she said as she followed the furry brown animal.
Ichigo groaned again, "Please let this be the right path," and ran after her into the clearing ahead.
"Mr. Chappy, where are you? Come out," Rukia called as she peered under the bushes where the road disappeared into the grass. A fluffy brown tail was protruding from one of the bushes. "There you are!" she exclaimed. She started towards the rabbit, and then stopped. "Ichigo," she whispered, "do you have anything we can lure him out with?"
Ichigo didn't want to give up his lunch, but he complied anyways, bringing out the bento box Yuzu had made for him.
"Mr. Chappy, want some onigiri? It's very yummy," Rukia coaxed the rabbit, as its velvety nose appeared. "Yup, made by Ichigo's little sister, Yuzu. You know you want some…"
Ichigo's jaw dropped as he watched the rabbit crawl out and sniff his bento box. It was a first in his life, seeing a rabbit eating onigiri. He seated himself on the grass, tossing his backpack aside. His eyes softened at the sight of Rukia stroking the wild rabbit, as it gobbled down the last onigiri. "No, not the anko fish. Please not the anko fish," he begged as he saw the rabbit sniff the pastry.
"Don't be mean, let him have it," she scolded him as she encouraged the rabbit to eat his favourite dessert.
Ichigo glared at her as Rukia said goodbye to the rabbit who stole his lunch. "We have no lunch now, in case you haven't realized. Well, I have no lunch." He moaned as his stomach growled.
Rukia opened her rucksack and pulled out a box nicely wrapped in a green handkerchief. Was that… his dad's lunch? "Did you steal this too?"
"I borrowed it. Your father doesn't need any energy, he's already loud enough. Take it," she said as she sat down beside Ichigo and handed him the bento.
"You don't need to eat?" Ichigo asked as he unwrapped the lunch.
"No," she said plainly, "I'm a shinigami."
He nodded as he took a bite of the anko fish, enjoying the red bean filling inside.
'You liar,' Rukia thought to herself, 'of course you need to eat. With a gigai, the only part of you that's anywhere close to shinigami is your mind.' She shook off her conscience. "You always eat your dessert first?" She watched as Ichigo swallowed the last of the sweet pastry.
"Nothing." Rukia smiled and laid back on the grass. The sun was shielded by a cluster of clouds, and she could see others floating by. There was one that was in the shape of a rabbit, like the one they had seen minutes ago. She burst into laughter when she noticed one in the shape of an urchin of some sort; it reminded her of Ichigo's hair.
"What's so funny?" Ichigo asked, with his mouth half full of onigiri. He gulped down the rice with a drink of water.
"That cloud… looks like your hair," Rukia managed to utter between her peals of laughter. She pointed weakly at the cloud, which the wind, little by little, was disfiguring.
"Where?" He lay back beside her and looked up at the sky, but he could not see the cloud she was pointing to.
"There," Rukia had gotten control of herself again, the laughter had died down, but her stomach hurt from all that laughing and snorting. "You're too far to the right to see it."
He leaned closer, until their heads were touching. "Oh, I see it now."
She could feel that blush inching up her face again. "Yeah."
An awkward silence fell over them, but Ichigo didn't bother to move his head back where it belonged.
Rukia closed her eyes as she listened to the rustling leaves, stirred by the pleasant breeze. Fatigue washed over her; it was always like that. Not used to being in a gigai, she spent the last of her energy playing with that Gameboy in the morning. They were awake the whole of the last night, waiting for a Hollow attack. The Hollow kept appearing and disappearing in the human world, always escaping once Ichigo and Rukia were nearby. That morning, she insisted on coming to school with him despite his protests. She was surprised that Ichigo would rather bring Kon along with him, than deprive her of some well deserved rest. It was then that she realized that Ichigo was not all that bad. Even though he always seemed to be scowling at you, he was a nice guy underneath that intimidating exterior. She smiled as the soothing wind came over her another time, and promptly fell asleep on the grass.
Ichigo sat up and looked at his watch. 1:00 pm. He took a quick glance at Rukia. It was no surprise to him that she had fallen asleep; he was could barely keep his eyes open too.
"It's free time now anyways," he muttered as he lay back down beside her, shutting his eyes and letting slumber take over him.
Ichigo awoke to the sound of chattering. He tried to sit up, and see who was coming. But, something warm was on his chest. He looked down, only to meet locks of ebony black hair. Rukia. Her arm was wrapped tightly around his waist, and a small smile had graced her usually serious face.
"Rukia," he said, gently shaking her shoulders. "Wake up."
Rukia's eyes slowly opened, and she pushed herself up into a sitting position by using the soft ground as a lever. Ichigo winced in pain; the ground turned out to be his stomach. She swiftly withdrew her hand. "Sorry," she said quietly as she looked at the passing group of giggling students. "What time is it?"
Ichigo sat up and checked his watch. "It's time to meet up with the rest of the group." He hurriedly stood up, and brushed the dirt off of his clothes. Rukia followed his example, and as soon as she picked up her rucksack, they started walking down the path they come from.
This time, there was a comfortable silence between the two of them. The leaves were still rustling, and only their footsteps could be heard. Both had lost their habitually serious expressions. There was a slight smile dancing on Rukia's lips and Ichigo's eyebrows, for once, appeared relaxed and unknotted.
"So, how do you catch batteries for that Gameboy?"
The end. Lots of mood swings in that, OOC and so many things going on you don't know whether to squeal, cry, or laugh. And because I've only played Super Mario a few times, I have no idea if those things are really mushrooms or toads. Or if there are fireballs for that matter.
A chocolate covered ichigo for you if you review.