disclaimer I don't own Bleach.

timeline No spoilers

pairings IchigoRukia

notes I know this is a couple of days late, but it's my first Valentine's fic! (huggles) Uhm…extremely fluffy IchigoRukia-ness.

Chocolate

"What's that?" she asks, her mouth already full. She spoke around the mouthful carelessly, not caring if he saw what she was eating or not.

He sighed. "Chocolate. What you're eating now." He added, giving her a pointed look.

She was sitting near a small mound of them, all sparkly like her smile, which was now considerably more chocolate-y.

She swallowed before reaching for another one carelessly. "I know that, you bastard," she said casually, "but why?"

He snorted. "What's that supposed to mean? It's Valentines Day."

She nods wisely and proceeds to rip the wrapping off of her next victim. "The Day in which it is Traditional to give and Receive Chocolate," she intones sagely, "but why did you get any, Ichigo?"

He blinks at her, then down at the small pile in his arms. "Oh." He said. "They're nothing really."

He fishes out a neatly wrapped white one. "This one's from Tatsuki. She gets me one every year, so I'm used to it."

He pulled out the next one. It had the look of homemade chocolate to it, and there were suspicious green chunks in it. He sighed resignedly. "Inoue's. I think this year it's broccoli."

Then he pulled out a third. It was big, pink and gaudy, and as they both looked at it, the wind came by and blew the ribbons that were tied around it.

Rukia's eyes went wide. "That's rather pretty, isn't it?"

He eyed it warily, as if it might sprout legs and attack him. "Keigo and Mizuiro. They do this every year. It's their way of being Funny, and every White Day, the flock around me and ask for presents."

It spun lazily in his hands, and she could see that the two had written on the bright pink wrapping paper (there were cartoon hearts blowing kisses on it) the words, "We love Kurosaki Ichigo" over and over.

She blinked, and he stuffed back to the bottom of the pile, muttering something about giving it to his sisters.

"What about the others?" she asks around a mouthful.

He scratches his head. "…others? Yuzu and Karin usually give me a bunch, and my dad sometimes goes out and buys some for me because he's weird like that…"

"No." she swallows emphatically. "The ones over there." She nods towards the ones that Ichigo didn't mention.

He blinks, then snorts. "Just from some girls in the school. A buncha them came up and cornered me, and I had no choice but to accept them."

"Didn't know you were so popular with the ladies," she comments, and reaches for another one mechanically.

He looks at the rapidly diminishing pile of chocolate near her, and the towering mound of wrapping paper at her feet. "Look who's talking."

"Modern mortal girls," she says around her mouthful, "think of it as tradition to give classmates chocolate as well. they see it as some kind of ritual that decides the pecking order of things." She tried to sound aged and wise, but instead it came out as muffled and sticky.

He rolls his eyes. "But you didn't get them anything?"

She shakes her head. "They didn't seem to mind."

He shakes his as well, and groans, "That's girls for yah…"

She pauses suddenly in her loud chewing, and looks as though she's reached an epiphany. Then she dives into her pile of unopened chocolate with renewed vigor, rummaging around madly.

He leans back onto the roof and looks at the clouds, wondering idly if Inoue's and Keigo's were safe to eat.

Suddenly a hand holding something obscures his view.

He sits up, and looks at Rukia.

"Here." She says, not quite looking at him in the eyes, and still holds it out. "Here," she says roughly, turning her face away.

He stares at it dumbly. It was a small and rather cutely wrapped chocolate, and he could see the tag had been hastily ripped off.

His voice, when it comes, is strangled and far-away sounding. He has to force the words out. "…the hell, Rukia?"

"Here." She only repeats, still holding it out, "It's for you."

He looks from the chocolate to her, than back down again. "But…"

"Don't read anything into it!" she interrupts harshly, "It's just that you give me food and stuff, and in the past few weeks, you've improved at being a shinigami, and so I thought I should reward you."

She trails off, and he could have sworn that she was blushing.

"It's not for Valentines or anything, but…"

he starts to grin a little, the knot that was present in his heart every time February 14th rolled around, starting to loosen.

"You know I don't like chocolates right?" he teases, trying to prolong this moment further.

The arm starts to jiggle a little impatiently. "Just take it, you bastard!" she snaps, and his grin widens.

He takes it gently from her hand, warm and shaking slightly, and says solemnly, "Thank you."

She remains turned away from him, and he stands slowly, gathering all of his chocolates to himself with one hand and holding onto hers with the other, and says into the silence, sounding rather forcedly casual, "Come on. Let's go dig Keigo from his self-pity and Mizuiro from his pile of chocolates."

He has not taken more than three steps when he is tackled from behind.

"Kurosaki-kun," she drawls in her fake cutesy voice, and his stomach drops upon hearing it, "Don't forget to get me something on White Day."

He swears loudly into the silence.

end

White Day is easy. He just gets her something bunny, and the smile she gives him is enough to make him think the time spent in that shop of girly horror was worth it.