Title: In Retribution of Valentine's Day
Author: Celeste
Feedback: (yes!)
Universe: Bleach
Pairing: Barely there Ichigo/Rukia. Even less there ChadxIshida
Rating: G
Word Count: 1,722
Time: 1:24 mins with minor edits (but if you catch any glaring mistakes I still managed to miss, tell me…please?)
Spoilers: Not really.
Summary: Just a silly fic following "In the Tradition of Valentine's Day"- Come White Day, Rukia receives lots of candy.
Dedication: JenKat, cuz she totally let me be an idiot while she was drawing her fan art and sent me the link to the ichiruki community in the first place.
A/N: So yeah, I wrote "In the Tradition of Valentine's Day" and very promptly was notified by one of the better fangirls that Ichigo actually does like chocolate. This is my sad attempt at remedying my carelessness as well as the obligatory White-Day-in-response-to-Valentine's-Day-fic. ;; And uh…I'll try and do better about the little facts in the future. Yeah.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Otherwise I wouldn't have such a hard time trying to get the merchandise, dammit!
Distribution: Just lemme know.
It was still several minutes before class when Rukia walked in, already with an armful of chocolates, eyes gleaming and looking very self-satisfied as more of the class's boys approached her and good-naturedly presented her with their White Day offerings.

Ichigo made an offhanded comment about how the pile on her desk would be taller than her in a little bit (even though that wasn't too hard), and she decided he was just in a bad mood because this wasn't the day he got a bunch of free food.

Later in the day she got a box from Chad and saw that there was a lumpy something or other inside that looked like it was smiling up at her when she peered under the lid. When she asked what it was, he blushed, scratched the back of his head in an awkward manner and mumbled, "Rabbit."

She thanked him and told him she would eat it promptly. Ishida offered her something in an identical box, though upon opening it, found it to be a goodly shaped rabbit-shaped chocolate, and looked between both boys slightly suspiciously.

Ishida adjusted his glasses in a fascinating display of bending, reflecting light and informed her that they had made them together, and asked her with a sort of shy bluster if that was a problem.

She told him of course it wasn't, and said to him that she decided she was impressed by the fact that he could still cut a passingly dashing figure while he was blushing. She also let him know that if his bravado was in any way supposed to intimidate her it was strikingly off target.

He turned redder on her simple declaration and Chad laughed at him, draping a big arm around the smaller boy's shoulders and steering him off, good naturedly smiling at the Quincy's indignant sputters as he did.

Rukia watched them go and speculated that if they were going to share chocolate recipes between the two of them, they should be a little less obvious about it.

Beside her, Ichigo strangely enough, had nothing to say. When she looked at him, he averted his eyes, and she noted that he seemed a little bit pink around the ears.

Later, she received a giant Milk Dud-shaped ball wrapped in foil from Keigo. A bit startled, she took it and thanked him. He exclaimed that he was glad she liked it and began to recite a poem he'd written especially for her. However, he didn't get to finish because at the point where he'd taken her hand and made to kiss it, Ichigo had yanked him forcibly back by the collar of his uniform and told him to stop being annoying and go away. Rukia listened to it all disinterestedly, staring instead at the chocolate monstrosity Asano had presented her with. She surmised that it wouldn't be able to fit in her locker and being wary of having to carry it around all day, she thrust it at Ichigo and asked him very sweetly, if he would mind watching it for her today.

He'd made a face but silently complied, because even though she asked him things very sweetly like that, her eyes still told him it was not a mere suggestion. He set it on his desk and worked around it all day. Luckily he was tall enough to be able to see the blackboard over it.

That afternoon, Orihime gifted her with chocolate covered tempura just before lunch and Rukia accepted it graciously though she was a bit confused. Her understanding of White Day was that the males were supposed to present sweets to the females as thanks for the gifts they had given the males during Valentine's Day. Tatsuki came to the rescue and explained that Rukia's understanding of the holiday was perfect, explaining that it was actually Orihime's understanding that was slightly skewed. They both sweatdropped and shared an obligatory piece of chocolate-coated broccoli in front of an expectant Inoue.

Ichigo was forced to indulge in the choco-tempura taste-testing at Rukia's insistence. He let everyone know that the sweet potato wasn't too bad and pushed the small box back at Rukia after he'd taken his mandatory bite.

Towards the end of the day Mizuiro presented her with a small, daintily wrapped package tied off with a beautiful ribbon. He smiled and told her that they were special designer chocolates and that his girlfriend had helped him pick them out (and pay for them) as she was not only of superb taste but also gainfully employed and would have none of his money when he was still only a high school student.

Rukia thought that was very nice of her, though for some reason, Keigo had burst into tears during that portion of the story.

Behind her, Ichigo had snorted and told both of the other boys to stop being annoying and that he didn't want to hear about Mizuiro's weird conquests anymore.

At the end of the school day, two older boys from a different class that she hadn't known personally confronted Rukia as she was packing to go home, finding artistic ways to put the large haul she'd collected during the day into her book bag. They'd introduced themselves and gifted her with wrapped boxes of candy, saying something about how they were hoping she was getting along in school well and if she ever needed anything…

They didn't get to finish their sentences because a shadow was suddenly cast over them both and they'd turned around in surprise, to find the taller Ichigo looming directly behind them, brow furrowed, scowling more so than was usual for him.

Despite their being older they backed away quickly, making polite departure conversation with Rukia while Ichigo glowered suspiciously in their general direction. They scurried out of sight.

Rukia regarded him strangely for a moment, wondering why he was in such a bad mood, but didn't say anything because he could be as irate as he wanted with the world and she just couldn't make the effort to care that much as long as it didn't disturb her.

Once she was finished and her book bag filled to brimming, she again thrust Keigo's gift at Ichigo, who took it without protest. They headed towards the shoe lockers together. Rukia didn't need anymore chocolate to carry and was a bit relieved when on the way, no one bothered either of them again. She glanced at Ichigo suspiciously, and that look he'd shared with the upperclassmen was still there, the one that was up a level or two from his normal unpleasant expression.

Only Tatsuki was as unimpressed with Ichigo's inexplicable irritableness as Rukia was, greeting them both in the locker room as they reclaimed their shoes.

The Karate-club member laughed as she saw the giant choco-ball in Ichigo'a arms and asked if he'd begged it off Rukia to satisfy his notorious sweet tooth.

Ichigo made a choking noise in the back of his throat and threw Tatsuki a threatening look.

Rukia looked between them both oddly, saying, "But Ichigo said he doesn't like chocolate."

Tatsuki ignored Ichigo's glowering as much as Rukia might have if she were its subject, and went on to reply to the other girl, saying, "What are you talking about? This guy loves chocolate! It's the only reason I still bring him Valentine's candy year after year, you know."

Rukia blinked at her and then turned back to Ichigo, studying his reaction. "So you do like chocolate?" she asked, puzzled.

He flushed slightly and looked purposefully away, muttering, "Well, I don't like it as much as you do."

Tatsuki, sensing she'd said something she wasn't supposed to, looked between them both.

And then burst out laughing.

Ichigo shouted at her to shut up, and glared at her with all his might though under the embarrassed reddening of his cheeks it wasn't much.

His childhood friend only grinned and draped an arm companionably around Rukia's shoulders, asserting, "Whatever you did to him, I think it's hilarious."

Rukia claimed that she'd done nothing to him.

Tatsuki, still chuckling, winked at her and headed to karate club, calling over her shoulder, "If you say so…"

That left both Rukia and Ichigo alone again. Ichigo looked decidedly uncomfortable, and Rukia wasn't quite sure exactly what had just come to pass.

After a moment, "You do like chocolate."

"A little."

The little shinigami's brow furrowed. "I don't get it."

"Then don't think about it. Let's go home."

They put on their shoes quickly and were on the way home before too long, she striding comfortably beside him as he held on to Keigo's chocolate monstrosity for her. Rukia felt a little bit strange and was doubly confused as to Ichigo's motives from last month as they walked. But she didn't say anything because he seemed intent on not talking any more about it.

Well, she didn't say anything for as long as she could.

Five minutes later, "I still don't get it."

"I told you not to think about it."

"Do you want some of my chocolate?"

He snorted at her, like he'd been doing for pretty much the whole day. "Idiot, today's the day guys are supposed to give candy to girls, remember?"

"So?"

He rolled his eyes, shifting his book bag across his hip. "So? So it's the tradition," he stated bluntly as one hand dug around in his bag while they walked. Finding what he was searching for, he stopped and pulled a palm-sized box out, tossing it indelicately at her. "Here…catch."

She caught it, puzzled. Studied the box for a moment. "You got me chocolate?"

He frowned. "Oi, you don't have to look so surprised."

"I am surprised."

"Che, just take it and say thanks, huh? It's just the stupid tradition, 's all." He stuck his hands in his pockets and looked away. "Now let's go home."

She blinked at him. "I still don't get it."

"What's there to get about it? It's just the way things are." He began walking again.

She looked after him for a moment.

Decided that was as good an explanation for his strange behavior as any.

She jogged to catch up to him. "Are you sure you don't want any?"

He eyed her. "Talk to me again next February."

Fair enough. "Okay."

END