The Taming of the Shrew

Disclaimer: I own a leather-bound copy of Shakespeare's works (it smells so nice and scholarly!). Kubo Tite owns Bleach.

Summary: Well, maybe not that much taming. A comedic proposal (IchigoxRukia). Set a few years in the future.

Spoilers: There are characters in Bleach called Ichigo and Rukia...They enjoy fighting with each other…Them's your spoilers.

When he suggested they take a detour through the park on their way home, she didn't really think much of it. When he stopped beneath a row of flowering cherry trees, and then stared at them for a good five minutes, she began to wonder if he was feeling all right. But when he turned to her with that thoughtful look in his eyes, she figured the sun had fried his brain.

"Oi, Ichigo," Rukia crossed her arms and glared at him. "Did Renji hit you too hard during that 'male-bonding' fight you had last night?"

Oh, good. The scrunched up eyebrows were back. He was okay. "That tattooed wuss was too drunk to get any good punches in."

"Well, now that I know you still have both of your functioning brain cells, maybe we should head home," Rukia said, continuing along the path. "I think Yuza is making beef stew for dinner tonight."

"Will you hold still for one damn second!" His caught her arm, pulling her to a stop.

"What the hell are you doing?"

Rukia felt her stomach drop as Ichigo got down on one knee before her, catching her hand in his. He stared at the ground for a few moments then looked up at her with an even bigger glare then normal.

"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day…" he began through gritted teeth.

"Are you drunk!"

"Shut the hell up! I'm trying to be romantic here." With his free hand, Ichigo wiped a hand down his face. "No talking for two minutes, think you can do that?"

Rukia nodded weakly. "Okay," she squeaked.

After a deep breath (and a few choice swear words) he began again:

"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee

On the final line, he looked up at her, his brown eyes gentle. "Oi, Rukia, would you marry me?"

"I think I'm going to pass out." Her gigai's senses were acting up, that had to be the explanation. She should get Urahara to look at it.

"That's all you can say!" With a violent shove, he was up and gripping her shoulders. "Dammit Rukia, I embarrass myself before you, I have crazy sandal-hat giving me relationship advice because I stupidly asked him to fix my mother's ring so it would fit on your little midget fingers, my dad is now blubbering every time I see him because his little boy is becoming a man…"

"Well, that explains why those two have been fruitier than usual," Rukia mumbled, watching a vein throb on his head. That couldn't be healthy…

"…and I went all the way to Soul Society to ask your stuck-up prick of a brother for permission, because I figured you'd both like the whole traditional thing – and all you can say is that you're going to pass out!"

"You asked nii-sama?" she asked faintly. He nodded, glaring. "Your mother's ring?"

Ichigo smacked himself in the head. "Ah hell, I forgot that part." He dug into his pocket, and pulled out a delicate gold ring with a small but bright diamond. Which then he shoved onto her finger.

"At least it fits," he muttered, the soft caress of his fingers on her hand a sharp contrast to the fierce scowl that still ruled over his face. Rukia stared down at their joined hands.

"That poem," her voice was shaky, and she was severely displeased with that fact, "is that really how you see me?"

"Hell no." Ichigo snorted. "You're hot-tempered, violent, and you got a mean spinning kick. That woman he's describing is like a gentle May morning. You're like a miserable July heat-wave that brings lightening-storms at night." His grin was cocky. "I always did like lightening."

That grin finally knocked Rukia out of her trance. She balled up her fist (left-hand, of course) and punched him in the stomach. Not too hard, she didn't want to hurt him that badly. As he staggered back, she launched herself at him, locking her legs around him and planting a fierce kiss on his lips. Ichigo swore again as they tumbled into the grass. He called her a bitch, but still shielded her fall with his body. That was one of the things she loved about him.

"You're an idiot," she shook her head, laughing.

"Quite possibly," he agreed with the same cocky grin. He rolled them over so that she was cradled beneath him. His fingers, callused and scarred from fighting, gently pushed her hair back and trailed down the side of her face, softly tracing her features. Her breath caught as he skimmed down her neck.

He lowered his lips to softly caress her ear. "Rukia, I'm going to need a yes before I actually kiss you."

Her eyes closed as his lips glided over her face, her cheeks, temple, and forehead, before sliding down to lightly brush against her neck. Rukia swallowed, and then nodded jerkily.

"Good enough." And with that, Ichigo tilted her head back for a slow, deep kiss.

When sanity returned (as it often does when you are in a public park and some old lady walks by and calls you a pervert), they lay together on the grass, Rukia's head lying on Ichigo's shoulder, looking up through the cherry blossoms at the clear blue sky.

"If you tell Renji or your brother about the whole sonnet thing, I will kill you."

And, done! Random story that popped into my head one night. I hope you enjoyed it!

The poem is Shakespeare's Sonnet 18, a beautiful poem and in some ways oddly appropriate for Rukia's character. Ever since learning that Ichigo likes Shakespeare, I have pictured him reciting those works when romancing Rukia. Of course, I also imagine that sort of effort would fail just as miserably as it did in this story.