AN: Hello there. Hopefully I'm updating a bit quicker than usual P now…where was I? Oh yeah, now if all of you could cast your minds back to the chapter 33 where there was a time skip of four weeks. So, basically, all the events happening from chapter 33 to chapter 37 were what had happened 4 weeks in advance. Now, in this chapter, I'm going to go back 4 weeks to examine what happened during that time with…Ichigo and Rukia! Enjoy! (So, pretty much, the stuff I'm writing about is in the past) Don't worry, I'll incorporate and explain it in the story!

Oh yeah, you guys might want to read chapter 31 (The Office Romance (Part I)) since you've probably forgotten it already…due to some stupid author not updating for ages.

- - -

A Summer Job: The Office Romance (Part II)

- - -

Four weeks before Tatsuki defeated Yammy.

The first day of their punishment had been great. Just great. Of course, some parts of that day were better than other parts. It was quite ironic that they were ordered to share the same punishment, Ichigo thought. It was probably that old man's plan. Byakuya would definitely not be happy if he had heard of this...even though it wasn't as if he could do anything about it. Yamamoto always had the last word.

He was really happy about their first day of work. What he wasn't happy about was that it was now the 6th night of their punishment which meant that tomorrow would be their last day and nothing, absolutely nothing had happened between him and Rukia since then. He sighed, turning over in his futon. They had talked like friends. Now, there wasn't anything wrong with that at all, it was just that he had thought their conversations would involve more serious topics, they could get closer, and… he let out a breath, if she could kiss him again, that would be just…great.

He frowned without opening his eyes. It certainly didn't feel like she was avoiding him (or else he would have felt that horrible heavy atmosphere). It was more like she was avoiding a certain thing, a certain topic. And, if he was guessing correctly, he was probably unconsciously avoiding that same thing. It was probably more accurate to say that he didn't have the courage to bring up that

Every day had become a routine. Wake up, eat, do paperwork, eat, do more paperwork, eat, then sleep. Ichigo had learned to appreciate those moments where they could actually eat together. It was the only time he could sit opposite her, and look at her without it being called 'staring'. But even during those times, there wasn't much chatter going on. No…progress. Yes, that was the word, progress.

Another thing that bothered him was if Rukia was feeling the same way he did. Every single night he had played around with all these ideas in his head, and every single night he wondered if Rukia was thinking that exact same things as him. If she was, she was certainly good at hiding it! Well, that would be the ideal situation – if she was hiding it. But maybe somewhere deep down, Ichigo knew that nothing was bothering her at all. She was after all, a lot more older than him, which would mean more life experience which would mean more … He opened his eyes.

Someone was in the room.


He didn't answer. Was it really Rukia? There was no one else in the house except him and her…but he refused to believe that Rukia would actually come to his room at this time of night. He heard her light footfalls coming closer to his futon, and then her kneeling down behind him.

"Sleeping again, huh?"

He opened his mouth and then shut it again. What did she mean by again? He nearly let out a yelp as she started to run her fingers through his hair. He only started to relax again as she started to hum a song that he had no idea what it was, though it seemed very familiar.

Something he had heard in his dreams.

Every night.

Something that came from her lips.

Don't tell me…

Before he could confirm his suspicions she was already gone. He sat up abruptly, listening to her pour herself a glass of water in the kitchen. Rukia's room was right next to his…

- - -

Rukia sighed a tired sigh. She knew she ought to stop going to Ichigo's room late at night while he was asleep. After they had kissed, no, after she had kissed him, on that first night, she wasn't able to sleep. Instead, she had crawled into Ichigo's room for about ten minutes before finally feeling sleepy. It had unconsciously become a habit. Something like a sleeping pill, she thought, before ambling sleepily towards her room.

When she walked in, she immediately knew something was wrong. Someone was in the room. Her soulslayer was leaning against the far wall, so it would be risky to make a dash for it – though if she ended up getting it, her chances of defending herself would be much higher.

But before she could move, she was pushed up against the wall, her assailant placing both his arms on either side of her so she couldn't escape.

"Rukia…" she heard him say.

There was a pause. Wasn't Ichigo asleep? "Ichigo? Is that you?" She already knew the answer. A single moonbeam illuminated the space directly next to them allowing her to see the outline of his set jaw. She suddenly felt hot, and it seemed a chore just to breathe.

"Yeah," he replied, coming even closer to her face so that their foreheads were touching.

"Ichigo what –"

"What were you doing in my room before?" he interrupted her. She froze. He was awake? Even though that piece of information wasn't really important at the moment – Ichigo was acting really weird, and it was scaring her.

"Why does it matter?"

Because I can't understand you at all! The voice in his brain yelled out.

"You –"

She looked up at him, expecting to see passion, or fire in his eyes, but instead she met sad, lonely eyes.

"You're right," he finished. What he really wanted to ask was, 'did you come to my room every night?' and 'how come?' but he just couldn't get it out of his mouth.

"Ichigo, why are you sad?" she asked, relaxing a bit.

"Because…" he trailed off. "I…miss you."

In the following silence, Rukia felt herself blush.

Ichigo swallowed. "I know its only us in the house…but even then…it's like we aren't talking anymore, like…we're growing apart."

Rukia never knew Ichigo felt these types of… insecure emotions. It amazed her how much she thought she knew about him, and then suddenly he opened up a whole new side. She realized that he probably had never shown this side of him to anyone.

"And…then, on the first night, when you kissed me…" He leaned in as he spoke, closing the gap between their lips.

Rukia panicked. She wasn't used to Ichigo talking softly like this, and if this went on she would lose her control and probably…

She got her index finger in between their lips just in time.

"Wait," she said, pushing him gently off her. She took his hand and led him outside. The pond reflected the moon perfectly, aside from the occasional ripple from the soft gusts of wind.

She turned to face him. "Ok, here," she said, looking up expectantly.

"Here…what?" he asked, genuinely puzzled.

Rukia rolled her eyes. Did she really have to explain it to him? "You know…" she said looking up at the sky.

"No, I don't," he said, sounding rather cross. It was cold outside. He wanted to be inside, where it was warm.

Rukia gave an exasperated sigh. There was no way she was just going to blurt out, 'oh yeah, you know how you were about to kiss me? Could you just do it out here, because I'm afraid that we might go too far if we kiss in the room…'

"Kiss me," she finally sad, mustering up all her courage.

Ichigo's mouth dropped open. "What?"

That was it. She spun around on her heel and started walking back to the house. That stupid idiot.

- - -

"Rukia, let me in," he said sternly.

Ichigo ran his fingers through his hair. He was standing outside of her room, waiting impatiently. The door was locked, or else he would have gone in already.

"Ichigo, we still have a lot of paperwork to finish in the morning, so I think it's best if we just sleep and…"

Her eyes widened as her bedroom door crashed down. She jumped out of bed immediately. "Ichigo, what the hell did you do that for?" she said angrily, stomping her way to the now broken doorway. Jeez, didn't the guy know how to ask properly? She would have let him in eventually…maybe…

"Caught you," came a voice behind her. She stopped abruptly, letting him wrap his arms around her.

"You're going to have to fix that door in the morning, you know," she said as he turned her around gently. It was hard staying angry when he was so close.

"Mm…" he replied, kissing her softly on the lips.

Truthfully, she was a bit disappointed as it was rather quick, but she pushed those thoughts away. "I think…you should go to bed now," she said quietly.

He shook his head.

"Don't be stubborn," she warned, putting on a motherly tone, even though she made no move to release herself from his embrace.

He kissed her again, this time more heatedly.

Rukia silently 'oh no-ed' in her mind as she felt herself pushing him towards the futon as they kissed. This was exactly the reason why she didn't want to be in the bedroom while Ichigo was like this.

"Ichigo," she said, trying to be as firm-sounding as possible, even though she had just pushed him onto the futon.

"Yeah?" he answered hazily.

She was about to tell him how bad a situation like this would be, but instead she leaned forward and kissed him. "I…I don't think I'm ready for this," she said quietly.

It took Ichigo a few moments to register what she was saying. He suddenly was very aware of her lying on top of him and for a few moments the only sound that was heard was their breathing.

The silence seemed to have knocked them both back into their right minds. Rukia reluctantly shifted off Ichigo's body and onto the futon.

"You can sleep here…if you want." She heard him sigh, but he had made no movement whatsoever. "It'll be a bit cramped…but…"

She turned to face him as he rolled over. "Rukia…" he started. She couldn't see his eyes very clearly in the dim lighting, but she could feel his intense gaze burning into her iris'. "If I stay here…I don't think I'll be able to stop myself from…"

Rukia swallowed audibly. "Ichigo, I…I miss you too. But I don't think that doing this will be…" She paused, searching for the right word. "…right."

Ichigo nodded. "I know…"

"That is why," Rukia continued in a light tone, "If you try anything funny tonight, I swear I will use your soul slayer to make sure you never feel those urges again." With that she rolled over and closed her eyes, a smile appearing on her face.

Ichigo lay there, staring at her back, before snorting, "As if I would try anything funny with you, stupid."

"Ichigo?" Rukia called out after a few minutes of silence.


"Tomorrow…it should only take us about two hours to finish the rest of the paperwork…"

Ichigo waited for her to continue.

"I want to talk…" she said simply, knowing he would understand what that meant.


She felt his arm wrap around her waist. "I thought you weren't going to try anything funny," she teased.


Long after she had felt Ichigo's breathing even out, Rukia still lay awake, her eyes wide open. If only she could be with him forever. If only everything could stay like this…but…that was impossible. Because she was a shinigami…he was a human.

- - -

AN: Hey guys, please keep your reviews coming in…It keeps me inspired, so I can continue writing! Thanks very much, and I hope you enjoyed this chapter. I haven't proofed it, so please write in any mistakes in your review.