Disclaimer: Not mine, but oh how I wish! (Applies for all chapters of this story obviously.)
A/N: Enjoy! Let me know what you think! I have more written, so if you think I should post it, you should review and let me know. Oh! And I'd like to thank Alaena Night for being wonderful. TGK
Dragged by the Heels
"What's that thing?"
Ichigo looked up from his homework distractedly and lazily turned his head toward Rukia. The open magazine that had been shoved into his face practically made his nose bleed. With a loud yell, he pushed it away and toppled over the back of his desk chair, landing with a thud on the floor. He rubbed his head and stood up, towering over his "roommate."
"WHAT THE HELL?!" he screamed, his face bright red. Rukia tilted her head sideways like a puppy and looked down at the picture.
"What? Isn't it just a..biku…biku…"
"Bikini?" he said, advancing towards her. "No, it's a bra," Ichigo snatched the magazine from her grasp and as he began to throw it in the trash, he felt his knees buckle with the force of Rukia's kick.
"BAKA! I wouldn't ask for no reason, y'know!"
"I need one. All the girls at school wear them and your sister doesn't seem to have any," she trailed off, scuffing her toe. She heard Ichigo swear a long string of curses and slowly unstick his face from the carpet.
"No way in HELL am I taking you shopping for THAT!" he said hysterically, pointing at the picture in front of him.
"You don't have a choice in the matter!" Rukia pulled him out the window by his heel and he scrambled for his wallet on the desk, kicking frantically at her tight grip.
Once he had dusted himself off, they walked silently, slowly down the street. He mumbled for several minutes, his hands shoved deeply into his jean pockets. Rukia flipped through an action manga distractedly and squeaked as Ichigo grabbed her by the arm.
"You're going the wrong way, baka," he said venomously. She growled as he pulled her around the corner onto the main drag. The street was busy with motorbikes, cars and bicycles, ringing, honking and swerving around the tight street. They ran to the bus stop and Ichigo helped Rukia clear the step up into the vehicle, his hand lingering on hers just long enough to coax a blush from her cheeks.
As an elderly woman shuffled off the bus a few moments later, Ichigo ushered Rukia silently to the open seat. Though he made fun of her often for being…height challenged…he always made sure that she got the first seat that open up when they used public transportation. She remembered asking once why he always did and he had grinned evilly, explaining that it would be weird if she just hung off one of the white rings hanging from the bus ceiling. "You'd end up knocking someone out with your foot when the bus turned a corner," he had smirked. Rukia grumbled angrily as she remembered his comment, but just before she turned her intense glare toward the window she noted that he stood above her acutely aware and protective, swinging stiffly with the bus as he held onto the distasteful ring above his head.
As they reached their stop, Ichigo pushed her in front of him and the bus driver coughed as she hopped out. With gritted teeth, Ichigo paid their bus fare and followed Rukia out onto the street.
"Wow…" Rukia whispered in awe. Her eyes were wide and sparkling as she took in the sight of the meticulous street, countless shops paneling the sidewalk. Granted, she had seen such feats of modern society often while hunting Hollows, but she'd never thought she'd be able to shop in stores like the ones surrounding her now. It was just a human vanity that before resorting to a gigai had seemed juvenile and pointless. Just as she was about to plaster her face against a store's window, Ichigo whipped her around and pulled her into an ATM booth. Checking his balance he withdrew ten thousand yen (one hundred dollars) and shoved her back out.
"There's one!" Rukia said almost immediately, grabbing Ichigo by the hand and dragging him into a lingerie store. As he sat, mumbling swear words with arms crossed he blushed a bright red, deeper than the color of his hair. A smartly dressed woman with smooth, silky hair and a cell phone earpiece seemed to materialize in front of the unsuspecting boy with a bright, employee smile.
"Irasshaimase! (Welcome to the store!) Here with your girlfriend, I see?" she said cheerily, her hands clasped in front of her stomach. Ichigo jumped to his feet and attempted to cover his surprise with a signature scowl. He saw Rukia holding up a black lace bra curiously, tilting her head to inspect its design in the back of the store. His words stumbled over his tongue as his ears turned pink. The saleswoman ignored his peculiar state and kept up her blindly cheery presence.
"Is there anything you'd prefer I have her look at? Lace, corsets, silk?" she offered, gesturing at different racks in the store.
"Ah, no, thank you. She can find her own ah, garments, ne," he stuttered, scratching the back of his head nervously. As he turned to sit back down, he was confronted by the small woman, holding a teasingly small garment above her head. He jumped back and heard the saleswoman giggle with professional girlishness behind him.
"What about this one, Ichigo?" she asked innocently. As he sputtered a string of useless ums and ers, the woman pushed passed him and nodded approvingly, her smile widening with hypnotic happiness.
"Ah, that's a beautiful piece of lingerie, my dear! The underwire is actually corset boning, so you'll never be plagued with poking wires. It's also on the top of our hot list for this year. It's part of our "In and Up" line," she chirped. Rukia gobbled up her words and allowed the woman to take her looking around the other racks. Ichigo smacked himself on the forehead and tapped Rukia on her shoulder. She spun around and grinned up at him.
"I'll be back in a while. I have some stuff to do," he mumbled. She nodded and turned back to the other woman as he sauntered from the store. He pushed his fists back into his pockets and strolled down the street, casually making his way towards a store at the end of the road.
A/N: Like I said before! I have more written than the three chapters posted, so if you want to read it you'd better review! It will be a longer story than it's made out to be I think (though I'm not done, so I can't be sure) but there will definitely be some romancy goodness. You just have to sit back and savour the suspense! – TGK (Rating may change depending on where the story goes…winkage!)