Disclaimer: Bleach and all its characters belong to the brilliant Kubo Tite.

Karasu: I've had the idea for this fic quite some time now...I believe it will end up being four chapters long, though, don't count out the possibility of an extra chapter or two, perhaps even an epilogue, if I think it necessary.

Hope you enjoy. ( By the way, I'd like to add that writing this made me thirsty. XD )


Obsessions - "Crossing of Paths"

Contemplative Coffee- the name of a small coffeeshop near the outskirts of the city. It was a family-owned business so the coffee, the unique name, and the kindness were all homegrown. What first attracted Rukia to such a place was the fact that it was never crowded. Rukia hated crowds; she much preferred a place like Contemplative Coffee, even though she didn't drink coffee. It was a perfect setting for her to relax and read her books.

Ichigo was a Starbucks type. He loved the rush of zipping through the drive-thru, returning employees' fake smiles ocassionally (depending on his mood), and driving off with his decaf. Ichigo never outright admitted it, but he also liked to read. The only thing he read in public, however, was the local newspaper.

The day had been going bad enough for Ichigo as it was, but when he pulled up into the Starbucks' parking lot and was faced with a sign that read 'Closed for Remodeling', he was sure fate had something against him.

The day had been a normal one for Rukia so far. She'd gotten up, put on a loose-fitting outfit she could be comfortable in, and made her way to the coffeeshop. Once there, after greeting Orihime Inoue, the employee, Rukia retreated to her usual corner of the room, and started reading a volume of the book series she ordinarily read. Though she didn't know it at first, Rukia would also be cursing fate a week later.

About the time she'd first opened her book, in came a young man who was apparantly in some sort of a hurry, judging by the way he was panting as if he were out of breath.

"You do have decaf here, right?" he huffed.

Orihime smiled warmly and nodded. "Yes, sir" -she was supposed to say to this even if the customer was her age or at least, close-"Would you like some?"

"Yeah" was his reply. Rukia glanced over the top of her book, distracted by his heavy breathing.

Ichigo looked around the place while he waited. Being the only "customer" besides himself, he almost immediately looked at Rukia, who was also looking at him. Both shifted their gazes elsewhere when they realized this.

"Idiot," Rukia mumbled as she tried to find where she left off in her book.

"Here you are, sir," Orihime said as she slid the cup and saucer across the counter to Ichigo.

Ichigo opened his mouth to thank her, but closed it before the words could come out. She'd given him fine china, which he assumed, meant he was supposed to drink it there. Being used to getting styrofoam cups, he just had to ask about it.

"I'm sorry, sir, but we aren't like Starbucks," Orihime explained with a neutral expression.

Ichigo blinked. It wasn't like he was going to be late to his job or anything, but still, he liked to get home to drink his coffee. Not wanting to be rude, Ichigo accepted the drink and took a seat near the wall opposite to Rukia.

At this point, Rukia was too caught up in her book to notice Ichigo was caught up in her. He hadn't even taken more than a sip of his drink for staring. After a few more minutes elapsed and he hadn't done anything but look at her, Ichigo reached into his back pocket and withdrew two yellow index cards -he kept on him by habit- and snatched up a pen left lying on the table. He scribbled words onto the first card, and sketched out a picture on the second.

Smiling, Ichigo returned the empty cup to the employee, and turned to leave. Taking one last glimpse of Rukia in, he decided that he might just come back the next day.


Karasu: This was just the introductory chapter, so in other words, the twist hasn't even been revealed yet. Also, this was a fairly short chapter, I'll admit, and I judge that the other chapters won't be much longer.

Summary of Chapter 2: Everyone has a secret. Some are better at keeping theirs than others. When Ichigo thinks he's stumbled upon a secret of Rukia and confronts her with his suspicion, how will Rukia react?