Title: Loose Woman
Chapter: Oneshot/Ficlet
Type: Fanfiction
Fandom: Bleach (by Kubo Tite)
Genre: General, Humor
Word Count: 895
Notes: For trenchkamen. I'm so sorry, Trench. This didn't exactly turn out. To the rest of you, I apologize for the lack of sophistication. Perhaps, there will be a deliberate attempt to write something of worth for this fandom at a later date.
Summary: "You're a loose woman."

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Loose Woman

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Ichigo was having a rather pleasant night's rest. His bed was soft and pliant and for once, he was spared from having to chase down a Hollow like some sort of cosplaying madman. Usually, when trying to sleep, he'd have to deal with a myriad of things – meddling sisters, a barraging father, a bouncy Kon, or an impatient Rukia. But tonight, the Gods had smiled down upon him – granting him the smallest semblance of peace.

Only…

Tonight, the quiet was almost disquieting. He perked his ears, waiting for disaster to strike. Nothing. He raised his head and glanced around the room suspiciously. There were no demons, no butterflies, no ghosts, and no insane Quincy archers. Odd. Finally, after straining his senses for half an hour, he gave up and drifted into a light sleep.

"Vile cretin!"

He was rudely awakened by a half-hysterical voice wailing that in his ear.

"Vile, cruel womanizer!" she said again, voice dropping to a dramatic stage whisper.

He sat up abruptly and rubbed his eyes.

"Friggin' Rukia!" he whispered angrily. "What the Hell's the matter with you?"

She clasped her hand over her heart dramatically. The other was clamped around a brightly-colored book that looked suspiciously like one of those cheesy romance novels his father was prone to buying and leaving by the bathroom commode. He'd always known Rukia was insane, but this took the cake along with all of the candles. She wept openly, fake tears sparkling down her cheeks in the moonlight.

"Oh, Rodriguez," she choked ridiculously, "why, oh why did it come to this? Have you forgotten our baby?"

Ichigo had a split second to blush with indignation, despite her obvious jesting, before being utterly disgusted. She produced something small and fuzzy from behind her back, thrusting it wildly into his face. When his vision refocused, he registered a very ugly stuffed lion, but it was decked out in what looked like clothes from one of his sister's old baby dolls – complete with pink bonnet. Kon was crying, too, but judging by the duct tape sealed over his mouth, he wasn't acting.

"Kon! Wha - ? Rukia what're you - ?"

"No, Rodriguez, I won't hear it from you! No more of your petty excuses when I catch you sleeping in another's bed!"

Ichigo croaked and slammed a hand over her mouth, cheeks flaming at her insinuation.

"Shh!"

The last thing he needed was for words like those to be overheard by members of his immediate family. She scowled at him, digging her claws into his hand and freeing her mouth.

"Domestic violence," she hissed, pulling Kon close in a play of defense.

Ichigo rolled his eyes and snatched Kon from her clutches.

"I don't have time for this. I'm trying to get some decent shut-eye for once," he growled.

Rukia fixed him with a vacant expression and sat back on her heels.

"You can run from your problems, Rodriguez, but you can't hide."

A vein popped on Ichigo's forehead and he sat up abruptly, nearly coming nose to nose with the smaller girl. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Wasn't that some old proverb?

"All right, Maria! You know this," he shook Kon violently in her face, "is not my baby. I'm not the father, so quit trying to dupe me into your schemes! You're a loose woman, and you can't fool me!"

Rukia look taken aback for a second, but before long, a very evil smile spread across her face – her eyes alighting with amusement.

"But Rodriguez – you know I already had the tests done. You are indeed the father. No denying it now. You must pay for you sins."

Ichigo palmed his face in his hand.

"All right. All right! All right! Rukia, I'm awake already. I give up. Whaddya want?"

Rukia grinned and stepped demurely off his bed.

"I stink, and I want a bath."

"Why didn't you just say so?" Ichigo grumbled, unfazed by the rapid change of subject as he set his sock-feet on the cold floor.

"I tried to wake you up so many times," she said too sweetly, imitating, no doubt, something she had heard on television. "There was no other way."

"No other way, my foot," Ichigo grumbled.

Several minutes later, he was perched outside the bathroom door, cringing at the noise Rukia was making inside. Did she have to splash, for crying out loud? He shuddered at the prospect of having to explain why there was a girl with him in the middle of the night, much less why she was bathing at his house. His reputation would be ruined – ruined!

"Ichigo?" came Rukia's voice, floating through the door.

"What?" he whispered grumpily.

"Let me out. You're holding the door closed."

She stepped out in her stolen pajamas and they tiptoed quietly back to his room. The whole while, she kept shooting him sidelong glances, eyes shining curiously in the dim light. It unnerved him in ways he would rather not admit. Rukia could be scary when she wanted to be.

"Ichigo?" she questioned, once they got back to his room.

"What?" He was climbing into his bed, disregarding the sight of Kon thrashing around clad in baby clothes.

She paused, hefting herself onto the shelf in his closet. She picked up the book she had brandished earlier, staring for a long while at its title - Loose Woman.

"How did you know her name was Maria, and how did you know Rodriguez's lines?"

Ichigo rolled over, hiding his red face in his pillow. He didn't answer.

END.

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