AN: This chapter is probably the last one. I dunno, I'll tell you at the bottom. Well, thanks for reviewing me through these past few chapters. Sure feels good to have a story finished. Oh yeah, I'm not certain on the subject which Rukia actually does well in. In this story its Japanese history.
Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach
Accidentally in Love: Ice cream
When Rukia woke up, the first thing she thought was 'Where is Ichigo?' That thought was followed by numerous images of what had happened last night. He had held her on their roof for the better part of two hours, and in that two hours they hadn't said much at all. In fact, that was probably the quietest two hours they had ever spent in the presence of each other. Even though that was the case, Rukia felt that she had gained so much knowledge about the orange-haired boy by just sitting with him. Well, sitting in front of him. Same thing really, she tried to tell herself, as he rolled over. She blushed as she opened the closet.
Ichigo was at his desk, trying to write something. His forehead was scrunched up in the usual frown while he bit his bottom lip. She fought back a smile. He really looked kind of cute that way. She wondered what he was doing. It reminded her of the time when they had received a massive assignment on the history of Japan. He had been sitting at his desk, his text book open, and in front of him a piece of paper with scribbles all through it.
Rukia tiptoed to see over Ichigo's shoulder. All that she could make out from the lines of scribbles was, 'Japan has had a big history.'
"Japan has had a big history?" she asked him, her eyebrow arched. Ichigo looked to the side.
"Yeah, so?" he said. "Didn't it?"
She rolled her eyes. If there was one subject that she didn't fail in, it was Japanese history. And, if there was one subject that Ichigo did particularly bad in, it also happened to be, Japanese history.
"Ichigo, even I know that sucks." She placed a hand on her hip, as Ichigo turned around to face her. "Don't tell me that's all you're handing in?"
"Shut up," he growled back. "At least I don't fail art."
"Ichigo…" she said lowly, in a rather dangerous tone. How dare he bring up her art results – it was just because she had gotten lower than she had expected – that was all.
"What? It's true –" Ichigo was cut off.
"Do you want help or not?" she asked him, slightly happy that she had acted in a much more mature fashion than she usually did. The other side of her was positively burning with rage – though she had consoled it a bit, because Ichigo was, after all, pretty much failing Japanese history.
They both knew that it was her best subject. She had completed the assignment almost as soon as they had received it, and Ichigo knew she would top the class. Well, the only reason that she did good in this subject, was because they had been extensively trained in the Shinigami Academy. And, being 150 years old helped one know quite a bit about the history of a world in which mortals presided in.
Rukia scowled at him. "Idiot. Say please."
Ichigo gritted his teeth. He swore she would pay for this later on. Pay for making him say please, not helping him with his assignment.
"Please," he managed.
Rukia smiled sweetly at him. "Say, 'Rukia, please help me with my history assignment', ok?"
He growled. "Bitch," he muttered under his breath, and then suddenly, due to forces unknown, hit the floor.
Rukia lay in her makeshift bed for a while, still looking at Ichigo work. Every now and then he would glance at the wall in front of him, close his eyes and then write something down. It was a habit she had noticed him develop during class. Not that she watched him continuously, or anything.
In the end she had helped him, and the history assignment had turned out quite well. Despite Ichigo nearly failing Japanese History, Rukia found that he had some good ideas – he just didn't know how to put them down on paper. They worked on the assignment that whole weekend – to solve the problem of hollows, Ichigo had rang up Ishida, and asked him if he would do some hollow-killing – if any arose.
The Quincy had refused, but after a few seconds of coaxing (and some threats to steal his cape), he gave in. They had worked pretty well, and by Sunday night, Ichigo had a fairly well put together assignment. Rukia was rather proud of their – well, it was mostly hers – work.
Rukia shook herself out of her memories, and slid the closet door fully shut. When she emerged, she was dressed in her school uniform, and her bedding material was all folded neatly.
"Good morning Ichigo," she said, trying to sound cheery. Immediately her thoughts turned to the previous night, and she turned slightly red.
He must have thought the same thing, because he turned away.
"Good morning," he said, before studying the paper in front of him intently.
"How come you're up early?" she asked, dangling her legs over the side of the closet.
"Oh," he replied, without looking up. "I forgot I had some homework. I was going to do it last night but…" he trailed off, knowing exactly why he hadn't done it last night.
To make it worse, she knew exactly why as well. They had both been too preoccupied.
"Uh…well," Rukia replied quickly, trying not to make her voice shake. "I'm hungry."
Ichigo put his pen down. It was about time to start getting ready for school anyway.
School went fairly quick that day. It was one of those days where the bells just seemed to be ringing continuously – except for the last period.
Rukia didn't mind however, it was Japanese History, and she prided herself at being at the top of the class. As she hurried towards the classroom, her thoughts fell back on Ichigo. The phrase, 'the top of the class' had reminded her of a certain orange haired boy who had handed in his (read: her) history assignment. That day had been a pretty big shock in her life.
"Ok class, I have marked all the assignments," the teacher said, walking into the room. That statement caused an excited buzz to flow around the classroom. Even if everyone knew who was going to get the top mark. Rukia, of course. She always did.
"And, I have very, interesting news."
The general murmur stopped, as the teacher put down the books and sheets she had been carrying. "Now, do you want me to read out all the marks, or just tell you the top three?"
The class settled on reading out the top three marks first.
"Ok, third place, we have Ishida, with 95," the teacher said. The mentioned boy merely pushed his glasses further up his nose, and stood up to receive his mark.
"Now, second place, is Rukia, with 96."
Conversation erupted everywhere around the classroom. If Rukia and Ishida ranked second and third, who could the first be? This was unheard of.
"And I'm pleased to say, that Kurosaki Ichigo got first place, with 98."
The bell rung, knocking Rukia out of her memory. She had almost regretted helping Ichigo. She really couldn't believe that he had beaten her. Though, the look on his face was the nearest she had seen him be to happy. Although he had told her afterwards, as they were walking home from school, that he didn't actually care, she knew he did. She could tell he did. And it was confirmed, when he thanked her, that afternoon.
They had walked about halfway to the Kurosaki household, before Ichigo grabbed her elbow.
She stopped, and looked at him questioningly.
"Um…Do you want to go get some ice cream?" he asked, not looking at her in the eye.
He had asked her the same question that afternoon, when they found out he had topped the class. It was his way of saying thanks, and he somehow knew that she would understand – even if she had given him a funny look when she had said yes.
When they had sat on a bench, a fair way away from the ice cream vendor, he had muttered a small thank-you to her, and proceeded to lick his ice cream. That was when he had noticed her staring at him.
"What," he asked, suddenly self-conscious. Ice cream had a way of dripping down one's chin, and he thought some sneaky drop had made its way from the cone to his face, its intent to embarrass him in front of Rukia. Not that he cared.
"Uh…Ichigo…what is this?" she asked, pointing at the cold, pink coloured lump known to humans as strawberry ice cream.
He gave her a blank look. "That's ice cream."
"You eat it like this," he said, sighing, before proceeding to show her the basics of eating ice cream. He should've known that they didn't have these types of things in Soul Society. Rukia would have been clueless.
"So…you just lick it? Like this?" she asked him, and proceeded to poke out her tongue to touch the ice cream.
Ichigo looked away. Something about her, ice cream, and her tongue had a rather bad effect on his mind. "Yeah."
"But it's cold!"
"Yes, that's why its called, ice cream. It's supposed to be," he finished lamely as he saw her confused look.
Five minutes later, Rukia had officially finished her first cone of ice cream. Well, finished wouldn't be the best word for it. That was because about half the contents of her ice cream cone was deposited around her face. It turned out that she was a very messy eater, at least, when it came to ice cream.
"Rukia…" Ichigo started, shaking his head. "You're supposed to eat all of it, not let your face have it."
He leaned towards her, fishing out of his pocket his hanky. He was about to help her wipe the ice cream off, when he looked at her lips. They were full, and slightly apart, and amongst the pink ice cream, they looked…well, inviting.
He snapped out of his daydream, realising that he had just been inches from her face, staring at her lips. It must have been very awkward. He avoided her eyes, as he proceeded to wipe away the ice cream with his hanky.
Ichigo sighed. She had ordered strawberry again. He didn't know why she liked that godforsaken flavour. It looked and tasted horrible, he thought, walking to the seat where they had sat upon where Rukia had had her first ice cream.
He hadn't even started on his ice cream, while Rukia was already licking hers. He had found, after that incident with him topping the class, that she was an ice cream addict. Not that he minded really – it gave him an excuse to take her out sometimes, on weekends – though they had to be careful that they weren't seen by anyone from school. It had happened once, and the rumours were awful.
He watched her for a little while, before starting on his own. As usual, he finished before her. Now that she had lots of experience in the ice cream department, she found that it was much nicer to savour the taste, instead of gulping it down. Plus, she had already found out what gulping it down did – it hurt the head like hell.
This time, however, since she had already started before Ichigo, she finished about a minute behind him.
"Rukia. You have ice cream on the side of your face," Ichigo said bluntly.
"Can you take it off?" she asked, slightly annoyed. Really, telling her she had ice cream on her face and then not doing anything about it was quite un-gentleman-like of him, though, she had to admit, it was Ichigo-like.
She heard him mumble something that sounded like, 'I'm not your slave', but gave a small smile when she saw him reach into his back pocket for his hanky. She looked away as he leaned towards her – so he could get the ice cream off.
Ichigo tried not to look at her face as he leaned towards her, his hand still in his back pocket, fishing around for his hanky. He abruptly stopped when he came to the conclusion that there was no hanky – he had forgotten to bring one today – and he was only inches away from her. His gaze rested on her lips. Full, and slightly apart, just like that other day. Except that time he had a hanky. He was screwed.
Rukia could only see an orange patch out of the corner of her eye, and wondering why the hell Ichigo was taking so long, turned around to see what he was doing. That was a mistake. With Ichigo so close to her, she ended up kissing him.
At first, nothing happened, except fumbled lips. But as time (slowly) passed, she began to enjoy the spontaneous kiss, opening her mouth slightly. She felt Ichigo's arms encircle her waist, and she let out a low moan as she grabbed his collar in two small fistfuls to bring him down closer to her. Even sitting down, he was a fair bit taller than her.
When they broke apart, both slightly red, and out of breath, Ichigo was the first to speak, as he straightened his rumpled school shirt.
"You still have ice cream on your face," he said, and proceeded to wipe the corner of her mouth with the cuff of his sleeve.
"I didn't have a hanky, so…" he said, averting his gaze.
Her voice demanded attention, and he sat up slightly straighter and looked her in the eye. Though, his gaze did travel down to where her lips were.
"What the hell was that?" she asked him, unsure of what to say.
"Oh. That…was a… kiss," he said with difficulty, looking away again.
"I know what it was, you idiot. But…did it mean anything?" she asked him, pleaded with him. The past day, and today he had been acting too differently. She wasn't stupid enough to pretend that she wasn't in love with him – though she could hide it very well – but the recent events between her and him had just been too much. She wanted to know what the hell was he thinking. So here she was, crossing the line, which would indefinitely change their status from friends to something else. What that was, she didn't know.
"Well?" she asked impatiently.
"Yeah," he grunted, still not looking at her.
There was an awkward period of silence.
"Yeah…it did mean something," he finally said. Ichigo sighed, and ran his hand through his hair. "Well…for me…" he continued. Crap. This was probably going to end their tender friendship which he had come to enjoy – even if they fought every day. But now that they had kissed – things were bound to change – even he knew that. She was a shinigami, he was a human. And, even if guys did like older women, Rukia was just extreme. She had to be at least ten times his age, and he didn't think that a woman ten times his age would take a romantic interest in him. He closed his eyes and waited for the lecture on how she was a shinigami, how she was too old for him etc.
It never came.
Instead, Rukia said, "It'd better have. I like you, you idiot." Even though that was an understatement. From the time she had spent with him, she knew she had fallen in love with him. Though she would never tell him that. Well, sometime later on, perhaps.
That was enough for Ichigo. He never thought he'd have to say those words – "I like you too." Girls had confessed their feelings to him before, and he had always turned them down. He never expected to be saying that – and to Rukia of all people.
"I don't know why though – you're annoying, short, demanding, and you suck at drawing."
Rukia scowled. "Take that back, Ichigo," she warned.
Under normal situations, she would have hit him hard, and that would have been the end of their disagreement. Just like when he had called her a bitch when she was merely asking him if he wanted help on his assignment. She realised however, as she leant towards him, that from now on there would be a much more efficient way of ending their disagreements. Not to mention enjoyable.
AN: Woo! Finished. As in, complete. Totally awesome. Thanks everyone for reviewing, and reading these short one-shots. Who knows, I might make a bonus epilogue or something. Though that would depend on…the reviews. Haha, well I hope this piece was as fun for you to read, as it was for me writing it. Now, head over to A Summer Job if you haven't read it already.