Title: Notorious Scoundrel
Universe: Bleach
Theme/Topic: Mints
Rating: PG-13
lightly IchigoxRukia, Chizuru, Renji, Yumichika, Orihime, Tatsuki (Isshin in spirit)
Warnings/Spoilers: Vague spoilers for the chapters immediately following the Soul Society arc. Also, OOC and stupidity, as I really don't know how to write Chizuru.
Word Count: 1,442
Summary: Ichigo has all the traits that girls love. No really.
Dedication: Requested by yukisuzu on my holiday request meme!
Oh man, it has been so long since I've written IchixRuki. I hope I don't completely suck! ;;
Disclaimer: Not mine, though I wish constantly.
Distribution: Just lemme know.

When Chizuru unwittingly found a small cache of mints sticking out of Rukia's schoolbag one afternoon after physical education class got cancelled on account of rain, she—true to her nature— immediately jumped to certain conclusions.

"Mints! Lots of mints! Who are you kissing?!" she demanded, and held the small metal container up to examine it in the light. "It's not my Hime-chan, is it?"

Rukia blinked. And then made a face. "No. Of course not." She snatched the container back, and quickly tucked it back into her bag.

"Ha! Then it has to be Ichigo," the other girl declared, triumphantly. Because apparently, if it wasn't Orihime Ichigo was the only other option amongst the twenty-something people in their class. "Well, good. He was a bad influence on the tender love between pure and beautiful maidens anyway. Taking him out of the running so he can't seduce them is the best way to cleanse ourselves of that influence."

Rukia blinked at that too. "Ichigo? A bad influence?" She could maybe see that in a general sense (since he was kind of a moron), but not in the playboy manner Chizuru seemed to be suggesting.

"Definitely!" Chizuru assured her. "With all those sultry frowns and harsh words? What girl wouldn't be drawn to that?! Classic bad-boy-with-a-mysterious-past technique! It's really very clever of him, but I can hardly abide by such misleading if, admittedly, slightly-intriguing behavior. Really, what a devious way to lure women from their brethren and into the dark clutches of a man!"

Rukia thought about that for a moment, and tried to find some sort of hidden appeal in the permanent wrinkle set in Ichigo's brow, or anything charming about the fact that yes, he called her a dumbass every chance he got, up until the moment she was forced to prove to him that he was actually the dumbass, for always making her hit him obligatorily. It wasn't like she wanted to do it.

"I don't see it," she offered, after a brief moment of silent review.

Someone snorted in the background, but it was cut off abruptly by the sound of an elbow hitting rib. Hard.

Rukia ignored it.

Chizuru too, ignored it, but mostly because she was too full of burning indignation at Rukia's faulty assessment regarding Ichigo's clear position as a trap for honest young women.

"You don't see it? You don't… everyone is always so curious about him! The brooding and the angst and the general sense of unrefined ruffianness!" Chizuru declared. "Even Tatsuki's preoccupied with him, despite the fact that it's really not very befitting of her mega-butch image."

"I AM NOT!" Tatsuki exclaimed, and looked like she was about ready to punch Chizuru right in the face.

"Well what I'm saying is, no one can blame you, so stop being so touchy about it!" Chizuru shot back, and adjusted her glasses. "He's devious like that! He's bewitched my Hime, too!" she wailed, and touched the back of her hand delicately to her forehead. "Can you imagine what sort of debauchery would go on if I wasn't here to safeguard her chastity for her?"

"I'm bewitched?" Orihime blinked, and looked very slightly distressed around her mouthful of red bean cake smothered in takoyaki sauce and mayonnaise. Then she became horrified, as another idea hit her. "Kurosaki-kun is a witch?"

Another snorfle from the background, this time accompanied by the sound of foot-stomping-on-foot and then fist-slamming-into-face. A couple of chairs were knocked over.

"Yes, a witch! And a scoundrel! An intolerable Casanova!" Chizuru exclaimed, and clutched Orihime's head lovingly to her bosom. "But don't you worry anymore, my Hime! You're safe now… Rukia-chan has saved us all!"

"She's a hero!" Orihime agreed—most likely without knowing why—her voice very slightly muffled as her face was still buried somewhere within Chizuru's considerable cleavage.

Rukia wondered how a small tin of mints with Isshin's smiling face and the caption: "Visit the Kurosaki-clinic today!" written on it could hold so much power over people's assumptions. Apparently the older Kurosaki had been right when he'd presented the family with a crateful yesterday morning, stating quite self-assuredly (as he'd stuffed the children's backpacks full of the things) that the contents of the packages were a surefire way to pique interest in the family practice.

"We don't know how to thank you for sacrificing yourself for our sakes, Rukia!" Chizuru continued, prompting Rukia out of her reverie. "You've saved us all by taking him off the market!"

Rukia stared for a moment. "I did?"

"Yes!" Chizuru prompted. "Now that we know he has a girlfriend, a great percentage of his appeal is lost! Now he's just a normal schmuck with a bad temper and there's nothing special or mysterious or intriguing about him at all!"

Choking laughter in the background at that, followed quickly by the "ooof!" sound of air being forcibly knocked out of someone's lungs.

Chizuru looked particularly touched by her own stirring words. "And now, thanks to you, Rukia, we're safe from his sinister designs, and can interact with one another as only beautiful young women can."

Rukia thought about that for a while. "Thanks to me, hmmm?"

Chizuru nodded, still petting Orihime's head tenderly as she did.

Rukia smiled. And then said, "Well, it is a horrible fate I've signed myself away to—certainly—but with all of your support," she paused there to dab at her eyes with the backs of her hands for dramatic effect, "I'm certain I'll be able to tough it out. Somehow."

"I'll buy you lunch!" Chizuru promised.

"Orihime can't breathe," Tatsuki shouted, and pulled the other girl free of Chizuru's chest.

"Thank you," Rukia consented, as Tatsuki patted a coughing Inoue's back heartily. She managed to put on her brave face despite the telltale tears shining in her eyes.

"Oh you're so courageous! Willingly touching those dirty, icky boys," Chizuru exclaimed, and sought to embrace Rukia next.

In the back of the classroom, Ichigo finally finished subduing a Renji who still couldn't hold back his sputtering "bahahahahahahahahahahas!" despite the fact that his face was being rather ruthlessly slammed flat against one of the desks and his left arm was being twisted around behind his back. "Hear that, Kurosaki? You're dirty'n icky!" he guffawed.

Ichigo glared and twisted the redhead's arm a little further backwards, all the while thinking that for all the show she was putting on now, Rukia hadn't really complained all that much yesterday, when he had kissed her. They hadn't even needed the stupid mints.

Though to be fair to her general character as a person, he supposed her complaining about his kissing technique then wouldn't have gotten her a free lunch like it had just now.

Hell, knowing her, there probably (he hoped anyway) wasn't anything wrong with his technique in the first place and all the complaints were due to the fact that today was tonkatsu day in the cafeteria.

That decided, he simply shook his head at her (it was all he really could do without earning a punch in the face in retaliation) and dug his elbow into Renji's lower back just a little bit harder, simply because it made him feel better about all the things Chizuru was saying about him.

On the other side of the room, the girls continued like the boys weren't even there.

Rukia—unsurprisingly— managed to secure free lunch for herself for the rest of the year.

And Ichigo, Ichigo could only roll his eyes in exasperation and let her do as she pleased—he knew full well that he couldn't stop her when she was set on something. Especially free something.

"So," he began instead, and turned to Yumichika, who was sitting beside him enjoying his lunch and the proceedings immensely. "The whole gay thing. How's that working out for you?"

"Very well," Ayasegawa beamed, and sparkled at the orange-haired boy invitingly. "If you ever want to give it a try…"

Ichigo sighed, and then chanced a look back to Rukia, who was holding court with a particularly stirring speech about martyrdom and Ichigo's apparent bad breath (which was, clearly, why she carried around tins and tins of mints with her at all times). "And he's very sloppy technique-wise too. But hopefully he'll learn soon…or I… or I just, I won't know what I'll do!" she sobbed.

Ichigo turned back to Yumichika.

"So," he echoed once more, looking nervously at the sparkling fifth chair as he kicked a chortling Renji one last time before letting the redhead go, "…gay. Right."

Given what Rukia was currently doing to him, he thought maybe he ought to take his chances.