Death Warmed Over

Or, alternatively, the horror of when death itself throws a Halloween party.

Things are gonna get weird.

Disclaimer: Bleach is not mine. End of story. Neither is it real, or I am profiting in any way from this source of trivial entertainment. Which saddens me, because I have no Renji to cuddle with…

Chapter 1: Some Things Are Better Left Unknown

Ichigo hated parties.

While he had always been a bit of a loner, not to mention up keeping his meticulously crafted anti-social image, things always got somewhat… bizarre when you gathered that many people in one place and added music, sugar and strobe lights. Not to mention that his father had an annoying habit of randomly showing up and then proceeding to joyfully beat the tar out of all other guests at the party games and stuffing his face.

So how exactly did he end up in this particular situation? Only by a bizarre twist of fate, the likes of which only a lazy and stressed out fanfiction author could dream up.

Cue the cheesy-wavy-fade-out-flashback transition.

Once again, Ichigo found himself strolling the aisles of the local bookstore, as Rukia stocked up on rather macabre looking manga with his allowance. While he wanted to say something, maybe put in an opinion so that his money at least got used on something that he even had a remote chance of reading later (He had had enough death in his well, life, lately. He didn't need to read it too, thank you. Teen slasher movies were practically comedies, but these were something else entirely.) but it wasn't worth his life to interrupt her right now.

Already gripping a few books, she looked at her choices solemnly. After surveying them rather grimly for a few minutes, she finally put one back on the shelf and started to get up. However, something caught her attention out of the corner of her eye.

Ichigo attempted to peer over her shoulder to see what exactly she was looking at, but Rukia slowly turned to him and shoved the volume into his hand.

"Look at this." She demanded, mouth set in a firm line and eyes haunted.

He stared at the slightly younger version of himself glaring cockily out of the cover. He unconsciously reached for where the same sword once hung, fingers touching nothing but air. A small voice in his head said to stop, it looked like he was checking to see if his deodorant had stopped working. Reluctantly he let his hand fall to his side once more, returning to flipping through the pages with sweat soaked fingers, looking on the most important moment of his entire life was played out once more.

Ichigo silently returned the book to the shelf, staring at Rukia for a long moment.

"Should we… see how it ends?" She nodded, and he reached for the last one in stock, volume number thirteen. Both watched as he turned the pages, until he returned it to the shelf in disgust.

"Geez… I fought Kenpachi ages ago. They're slow."

Rather uncomfortable silence ensued.

Ichigo went for the first safe topic that came into his head. "So… I hear Keigo's throwing a Halloween party…"

Things faded back to the costume store, where Ichigo was staring blankly and unmoving at where the camera presumably was.

"Sir- do you want this plastic sword or not?" The teenager jerked back to reality as the rather pimply clerk waved the prop in his face. Why… did I suddenly blank out like that?

"Yeah, sure." He shoved some money into the guys waiting hand, taking care to hold onto his cash by the end, as he didn't look to be the cleanest person in the world. Gathering his new possessions and silently lamenting how he couldn't seem to hold onto any of his money lately, he exited the store, enjoying the pleasant crunch of the leaves under his feet. "I wonder where that chick has gotten off to?" Ichigo thought aloud. The last time he had seen Rukia was when she had been dragged off by Tatsuki and Orihime to go shopping on their own, as they all chattered about how men have no sense whatsoever when it comes to clothes or costumes.

He looked at the large container of fake blood and gore sloshing about in his plastic bag and the fake wakizashi/headband. I do so know how to make a good costume… He grumbled.

Well, maybe making it look as though someone had stuck a sword into your skull wasn't exactly the world's most creative outfit for Halloween. But those cheap clothes most of them came with we're just so itchy…

Ichigo eventually made his way back home, where he proceeded to be quite bored. He raided the fridge, for lack of anything better to do, flipped through the channels, and even, (horror upon horrors) cleaned up his room a bit. Not that it was dirty. He had long ago made a habit of at least keeping his underwear picked up off the floor, (It wasn't a great idea to do otherwise in a house where the only other guy has the maturity of a kindergartener, a girl is living in your closet, and your little sister does all the cleaning.) but he was so bored he even dusted.

There really wasn't much to do around there when Rukia wasn't around to tease. That, and Isshin had shut down the hospital for the holiday. That guy took Halloween very seriously.

Ichigo was just dozing off when he heard some footsteps and giggling outside, and the slam of the front door. Careful not to look too interested, he casually opened one eye to see Rukia smuggling a suspiciously small bag upstairs. He actually sat up this time, and feeling his eyes upon her back, Rukia turned to answer his unasked question. She knew him only too well.

"Tatsuki found me this really cute costume! She said not to show you until the party, but you know what? I am feeling charitable today, so I'll give you a sneak peek." With a rather sugary giggle she disappeared up the stairs completely, waving the bag behind her.

Damn. I told them not to mix soda with shopping with her. But do they listen? Nooooo…. And now I'm the one that has to put up with Rukia.

Rukia was taking an awful long time, and Ichigo was about asleep again when he felt the table he was using as a footstool move. He opened his eyes onto a familiar pair of blue ones, a paltry few inches from his face. Scrambling backwards in a very undignified manner and nearly succeeding in tipping over the couch, he regarded the girl with a strange mixture of awe, horror and utter fascination. His mind hadn't caught up enough for curiosity to factor into it quite yet.

It's Rukia, it's Rukia, only Rukia, just Rukia….

Rukia twitched her nose. "Is it not just great! Look! I'm a bunny now too! Tatsuki found it! She said that you would really like it! And look, it has just the cutest little fluffy tail!" She turned around and wiggled it as proof to his disbelieving eyes. "I thought it was kind of tight… but Tatsuki said it was supposed to fit this way, and that I would get used to it, and she certainly know much more about these things than I do, being from this time and all… Is something wrong? Do you not like it?"

Just Rukia, only Rukia, it's Rukia for crying out loud…

Ichigo continued to stare.

Rukia, Rukia, Rukia, Rukia, Rukia…

A single, and surprisingly astute, thought made it's rather sluggish way through his cluttered mind. It seems Tatsuki has switched her focus from Orihime… to Rukia…

Ichigo was not quite sure when exactly he would tell her that her prized rabbit outfit was in fact a playboy bunny costume. Or how for that matter. Or, if he would in the first place.

A/N: Meh… I wanted a break from my more serious stories. To write something funny. And something Bleach related. So yeah… I just combined them. This things plot will be weak, held together by ABC gum, a few paperclips and some duct tape if there is one at all. I have no idea where this is going. Written pretty much for my good friend both on and off the net, Rain at Midnight (or Kingdom Raindrops, less recently) and you should go check out her Bleach-party-related story as well. Uryuu with a superman cape, Keigo and sugar, closets with no doorknobs on the inside, grim umbrellas, Gin making good use of a pay phone… good stuff. Good stuff. –nods- REVIEW OR I SHALL SEND RENJI-KUN AFTER YOU!

I don't know when this takes place. Don't ask. I also don't know if Japan celebrates Halloween. And I also don't care. Just laugh and don't think to hard- alright?