So, experienced an attack of the plotbunnies, and this piece was born. XD Haven't written IchiRuki in ages, so this was quite a bit of fun. Hope y'all enjoy!


The Merits of Snoring


They're in bed. He's awake; she's asleep. He watches her.

Her mouth is open, not very much, not gaping, but just enough to see the top row of small, white teeth. Everything about her is small, come to think of it. She has dainty hands and tiny feet and an itty-bitty body that gets lost in his shirts. Even her breasts are close to microscopic, anthills, really, but he'd never say that out loud. He likes being alive too much to jeopardize his future, and he doesn't care about the size of her breasts, anyway. They fit her, and they fit his hands quite nicely, so there's no reason to complain.

Ichigo half frowns, half smirks. He shouldn't be thinking about these things as often as he does, particularly now, while she's sleeping and vulnerable and wearing one of his old button-downs that could double as a dress on her because it stops just below her knees. The top three buttons are unbuttoned. He can see her collarbone and an irresistible little shadow of cleavage.

It's even worse that he knows she's stark naked beneath that shirt. Just a few buttons away from instant payoff.

And instant kick to the balls, most likely. Kuchiki Rukia can be prim and proper when she wants, but she won't hesitate to haul ass if she believes the situation warrants it, and waking up to find Ichigo leering at her modesty is fair game.

Whatever. Ichigo's tough. He can stick it out, and it's not like he minds looking at her face. He doesn't mind at all, not when tendrils of her hair are plastered to her cheeks and her eyelashes flutter and she's snoring.

Rukia scoffs and punches him on the shoulder when he tells her she snores. "I do not. You're full of it," she'd say indignantly, and change the subject despite how often Ichigo brought it up, which was about every other day.

"Do you want me to tape record it?" He'd suggested once, after a particularly vicious punch. "I'll freaking tape record it, Rukia, and then you'll feel like an idiot and you'll have to apologize for the abuse—"

She stuffed a radish in his mouth before he could elaborate further, and that was the end of that.

Ichigo hates radishes.

He enjoys listening to Rukia snore, however, because it's a cute, girly snore, and it makes Ichigo wish that Rukia would act cute and girly more often. Well…sort of. Ichigo can't imagine Rukia acting cute and girly, to be honest, and he can't imagine how he'd behave around her if she did.

Ichigo and Rukia aren't your average, conventional couple. They don't hold hands and look deep into each other's eyes and spew a bunch of sugarcoated malarkey that could come straight out of a harlequin romance novel. They don't gush about how madly in love they are to other people, and they sure as hell don't gush to each other because they're usually too busy squabbling over the rights to the channel switcher or how to put dishes in the dishwasher correctly or who keeps using all the toothpaste. Civilized conversations are few and far between, and when there's actually a pause in the bickering, they're making out, but then the process repeats ("God…Ichigo, you're like a dog. D'you have to slobber so much?" "You're too damn short…my neck hurts…").

That's just the way they work. They're both pigheaded, and they're both stubborn, and they've both survived a war, and neither of them has the patience for romance or anything that accompanies it.

But…it is fun to moon on occasion. He only does it when she snores, anyhow, so he's not a total mushball.

He hopes.

Rukia's breath catches and the snoring stops for a moment, then starts again, and Ichigo swallows the adoring noise that rises up in his throat. Yeah, he's allowing himself some leeway, but not that much.


One light kiss won't kill anyone. And maybe some cuddles. Ichigo decides he's in a cuddly mood. Of course, Rukia probably won't stay asleep through all this, but that's okay. He kind of wants her to be awake, at least during the cuddling. She can fall back asleep after their limbs are tangled together. That way he can bury his nose in her hair without being conspicuous. Her hair always smells good, like jasmine. Helps him nod off.

Oh, fine. So Ichigo wants to hold her. Pretty badly. Big deal. Doesn't make him any less of a man.

Just do it, dumbass, he thinks, and scoots forward a bit, gently, slowly, one hand on either side of her, supporting his weight. She continues snoring. You're clear, Ichigo. You're golden. Go for the jugular.

He leans down, licks his lips. Three, two, one…kissoff.

Rukia opens her eyes.

"You're lucky I didn't scream," she says dryly after he pulls away. He knows he's blushing because his skin is hot. Great.

"Why the hell would you scream?" He says, brow furrowed.

She gives him a look. "It's scary waking up with someone's face right in front of yours, moron."

Ichigo scowls, though he's too tired to retort, so he settles for a grumbled, "My face isn't scary," and yanks Rukia into his arms, rolling them on their sides so that they're looking at each other, arms and legs everywhere. He notices with a surge of glee that another button on the shirt has come undone. She notices him noticing, and she snorts.

"Pig." She smacks him on the belly. It sounds worse than it feels. He grins.

"You bet." Ichigo gets his fingers in her hair and kisses her. She smiles against his mouth, shifting closer. Her fingers mirror his, sliding through his hair, making him shudder.

Ichigo's glad he talked himself into this. He'll have her pat his back for him later.

"You're affectionate tonight," she murmurs around kisses. "I don't know whether to be thrilled or scared."

He cups her face.

So Ichigo loves her. Not the end of the world.

Smirking, he bites the tip of her nose, and she squeaks.


"You're so loud," he says. "Shut up. People are sleeping."

He laughs when she tries to elbow him and holds her tighter. Eventually she sighs and mutters something about getting even with him tomorrow and then she's silent, her head tucked just beneath his chin.

Perfect. He couldn't have planned it any better.

Ichigo buries his nose in her hair, wondering if he can stay awake long enough to hear her snore again.