Lendra-chan : Sorry folks! I can't make much of an announcement. Over all, I'm quite frustrated with Bleach at the moment, and just how sloooow it's moving D: Ichigo's lack of attention soley on his friends, not even just Rukia has me rather agitated.

But if you haven't gotten that far, disregard what I said:D

Umm, anyone hear about the discontinuation of the English Dub for the anime series? Oh, I hope that doesn't last long D:

Even though I liked the Japanese more, I always enjoy the English…even if the voices are iffy from time to time.

Regardless, here's your next chapter! I'm soooo sorry this took so bloody long!

THANK YOU TO ALL OF THOSE WHO REVIEWED! AND FAVORITED…AND EVERTHING! I will message you next time, I promise! D: (Or I'll try, I've been so unorganized…)

Disclaimer – I have nothing to say. Proceed a wiser reader. If you do not understand…-pats shoulder- there's nothing I can do.

Warning – Ichigo's admittance to squawking fruitlessly in attempts to push out a pretty note in the shower, Ewan McGregor and his amazingly amazing voice D: and…maybe some OOC….

Book 7

Could-Be Lovers

Concentration; it was key when it came to AP English. Analysis could slip with the slightest break in focus.

Especially when it came to writing an essay on human emotion.

Expressions…on human emotion.

"We could be heroes…just for one day"

The scraping of graphite on a semi-blank sheet of paper had ceased for the moment.

"You…you will be mean"

The chuckle of denial that followed in the scene had cinnamon eyes drifting upward slowly from the paper; a fist kneading at the pencil in hand.

It made a weird sound – like squeezing leather in those cliché movies.

"And I…I-I'll drink all the time…!"

A head soon followed with the gaze to simply stare, dead-panned, at the television and the silhouette that it cupped so luminously.

"We should be lovers-"

The pencil snapped at that, and Ichigo's acerbic stare simply wouldn't cut it. Her back was turned anyway.

"Damnit Rukia, would you turn that thing down?"

The figure barely even straightened as she began to rock to the ascending beat of the music; the rhythm becoming quite exhilarating and passionate.

"Why?" she piped; obviously not convinced of his irritation through broken pencils alone.

Rukia always drove a brutal bargain and she wasn't about to cry over shattered graphite. Spilled milk was something already tested back in the summer and she simply made him buy her another one; whipped cream and a substitute strawberry for cherry the second time around.

For whimsical interest in flavor! She said.

For the sake of being a bitch, He said. His head throbbed seconds later and Rukia's smirk was laced with clouds of cream.

So Rukia wasn't to be tampered with lightly.

Her tango was rough and immense and occasionally, a heel would stab into the top of his foot. It was never her fault, of course.

"I can hardly hear myself think over here! Don't think that because we have the house to ourselves, you can run the speakers dry!"

"You can't run speakers dry, Ichigo!" Rukia snorted sarcastically.

"You know what I mean," he quipped back. He was still glaring at the back of her head and didn't know why he tried to resume a glower match with a mess of ebony locks. If he couldn't win with the eyes of sapphire, he couldn't win with the hair of ebony…which didn't even retain an expression.

How rude.

"We should be lovers – and that's a fact!" Ichigo shook his head fervently for the unbearably miraculous, phenomenal, unworldly (and self-esteem diminishing for Ichigo occasionally tried to sing in the shower when he was feeling ambitious enough) voice of Ewan McGregor was not singing about a functional relationship in potential regards to his own with—and Rukia did not just sigh at the sound of such a voice.

She didn't. No. Not at all. He was hearing things and Ewan McGregor had to shut the hell up before he got into an ego competition with the television.

"Rukia, turn. It. Down. Now." His fingers had long since woven themselves into orange tresses and tugged as if to trigger some sort of revelation that Rukia would soon realize the importance of pure concentration.

Now that was ironic.

Of course Rukia understood pure concentration – just not when it involved simply him and only him. If Ichigo was in need of concentration, she was in no way involved and thus, in no way did she care.

She was a cold bitch like that.

"We could be heroes--!"

"That does it!"

The echoing slam of fleshy palms against the horizon of a cherry-wood table drew Rukia from her musical reverie. She perkily cocked her head over her shoulder at the sound and was surprised to see a relatively peeved looking Ichigo stalking his way rather energetically to where she sat.

He seemed dead set on whatever it was he was determined to do, and just because Rukia completely understood Ichigo and his ever-so-mysterious expressions (that weren't so mysterious after months of analysis and exploration), she gathered up the remote and protectively held it to her chest; her lips drawn into a pout as eyebrows gullied.

His stomps were relentless even as she scuttled into a defensive position. He jabbed a hand out and barked (with no threat to bite just yet), "Hand it over."

"Never," she quipped venomously. She could have chirped it dramatically; it would still have the same affect. Ichigo lunged at her and as soon as she realized she would be so royally pinned, she held the remote at arms length and struggled against him.

It was a continuous game of cat and mouse. She'd wriggle free and scurry a few steps before Ichigo would grab a hold of some trailing garment and pull her back to him. Victory was still in her corner, however, for she kept the remote cradled in her fist.

And to piss him off further, she had mastered the art of rewind and played the same climactic section of the duet over and over, every time she could get a press of the button in.

Which was more often than Ichigo could stand for.

His hand slapped onto the cool plastic of he remote and the contrasting heat of Rukia's palm. That triggered a siren of protests from Rukia. She realized she was losing, and despite her failing efforts, her squeals of protest laced the ending with a flickering giggle and bubbles of zealous laughter.

Laughter! She was laughing when he was genuinely P.Oed!

"No, Ichigo!" She would struggle against him, and then give way to laughter in their immensely humorous predicament. He finally wrenched the remote from her grasp which earned a rather high pitched yelp from Rukia that amended the squeak with a rare burst of giggles. She struggled underneath him as he fidgeted with the clicker.

His attempts to silence the movie were proving to be futile for the moment and Rukia took full pleasure in the fruits of his self-educed karma. Her lips opened wide and she began to howl with the music (surprising Ichigo that it was, for the most part, on pitch.)

"We could be heroooooooes!"

His vein throbbed as he switched support on each elbow and tried to turn it off at a different angle. Rukia drew in a deep breath and gave another loud bellow of her voice; quite a surprising volume coming from such a little lady.

"Forever and eveeeeeer !"

Teeth ground tightly as he jammed a calloused thumb on the stop button one last time. Miraculous Mr. Ewan and Nicole, or rather Christian and Satine, were silenced in the middle of their duet and their accompaniment of Rukia's was left stark naked in the middle of her howling. She was barely fazed by the abrupt finale and finished her insatiable crow and un-scrunched her face to look up at Ichigo pleadingly; as if her eyes themselves were a bribe.

"C'mon, Ichigo, we could be heroes!" She enthusiastically exclaimed it as though it were something adventurous and influentially life-changing. She kneaded her fists into his shoulders like content little cat paws and Ichigo wondered when they had managed to untangle themselves amongst the rumpus. He repositioned himself and made to move, though stilled for a moment to simply catch his breath.

She gave him a smile as her arms lowered to lay strewn and wild above her. She lifted her chin and Ichigo lifted his, as if to match her at her game of sizing up.

"You know what, Ichigo?" Her bell-like provoke made him grip the remote harder.

She giggled again and remarked in a voice blatantly 'matter-of-fact'.

"We should be lovers."

Ichigo began clawing at the carpet above her head to scramble free. He hardened his face though quite inevitably felt the stain of blood burn his cheeks, that betraying shade of cherry red; or strawberry. Whichever made Murphy seem more akin to an ass-hole.

His expression was drawn in nearly constipated concentration (as disgusting as that seemed, Ichigo concluded), and he groaned out in a strained voice his appraisal of her suggestion.

"Nope! No, none of that! Not today!" Rukia's laughter chimed below him while he growled relentlessly and continuously groped to pull himself to safety but to no avail. Rukia chirped his name several times but Ichigo was hell-bent on escaping her snares. He was a man! He should be able to break free from the clutches of a pint-sized shinigami any day! Half the size of a regular woman and dead to boot!

But his reasoning was quelled quite hastily for Rukia had enough of being ignored while repeating his name and with enviable ease, flipped their positions. Ichigo winced for he could feel the comeuppance of possible rug burn in the near future.

When he cautiously opened his cinnamon irises, Rukia's lips twisted with a smug grin. She illuminated that 'cat-ate-canary' look perfectly and Ichigo was tempted to scoff and pout like a child. Lacing her fingers, she placed her palms just over his heart beat and rested her chin atop them. She snickered as she answered him with a voice so mockingly gentle.

"Just kidding."

As she shifted, Ichigo stretched his hand that still held the remote out high above his head just to be safe. But instead, Rukia curled up into his form as if to swirl and spiral around the calming drum of his heart beat. Ichigo couldn't decipher whether the affectionate nuzzle was something profoundly platonic or a spur-of-the-moment hype from the influence of the movie playing prior; steeped deep in the themes of love and all that.

It could have been something else, but Ichigo liked to reason that it was simply impulse and all that activity was like a lullaby for a nap.

Daringly, he nudged her with the remote and spoke with little remorse. His voice sounded funny – his Adams apple was slightly squished at the angle his neck was at.

"Rukia,…Rukia, you gotta move."

She shook her head after a moment of not responding and murmured into his chest.

"No, I don't."

Ichigo looked up with irritation as if someone loomed over him to reciprocate his frustration. He looked back down at her and muttered back, though useless.

"Yes, actually, you really do."

Her ebony locks splayed out across his chest a bit more passionately as she shook her head with more vigor.

"No, Ichigo, we're lovers; I don't need to move."

He gaped at her with utterly emphasized skepticism. When the hell was that decided? Wasn't he supposed to be a part of a communal decision? He didn't recall it ever being mutually determined!

He lay still, his face pulled into a rather dramatic scowl – a cross between a face twisted and braced for heavy sobbing and perhaps bursting at the seems from rage. However, Ichigo's heart lingered in neither emotion. He could feel with the tick of each second, the dropping of his essay grade in chromatic order.

He opened his mouth wide, fidgeting and ready to slip out from under her when Rukia's fingers twisted into his cotton shirt and she breathed gently.


Her eyes were scoped downward like blinds ready to draw shut. But she stayed focused and kept her ear pressed against his chest. He took in a deep breath; perhaps by habit. The only time someone got close to him simply to listen was only medical and kept at the unaffectionate distance of a stethoscope.

But Rukia listened just for the sake of listening. The way her eyes seemed to search for the sound had him licking his lips that were dry all of the sudden.

He could tell immediately when she synchronized her thoughts with his heart beat. Her eyes stopped fluttering and a grin was laced on her lips. Curiosity piqued, Ichigo watched in wonder as Rukia uncurled a fist from under her chin and gently started to tap to the beat of his heart. The gentle pitter-patter of her pink finger tips were hushed against his cotton, but resonated with a hollow echo through his torso.

It was so quiet, he could hear his pulse tuning with her own beat – completely synchronized. He drew in a breath, almost hesitantly, and watched with backdrop amusement how easily she rose up with his breathing. But she kept her beat; steady and gentle. He could feel the vibrations of her vocal cords before he could hear her actual voice.

She was humming to the beat. Ichigo easily recognized the tune as a slowed down renewal of the one she bellowed before.

"We could be heroes…forever and ever…" Her eyes closed slowly and (were her eyelashes always that long?) Ichigo was left with no options.

He groaned and ran a hand through his hair once again. Lifting his head to stare up at the ceiling, he buzzed his lips in a horse-like sigh while he lifted the remote above his head to gaze at it. Sneaking one last glance at the girl splayed on his chest, Ichigo lolled his head backward and made to get comfortable.

He supposed he could simply still time; just for one day.

In comparison to a little fist against his jaw, the 'F' wouldn't hurt…


Lendra-chan: Sorry, that was so lame D: I was at a loss of how to finish this little piece!

I can't talk long, for I'm needed for assistance; lest I get stuck with dirtier work in the evening clean up. T-T;


OH! BY THE WAY. There is an Ichigo x Rukia amv to this song. You can find it on YouTube if you type in IchiRuki love Medly. I found it SO long ago - it's AMAZING. UTTERLY STUPENDOUS!

And god, I laughed so hard at the end.

Watch it if you can. It's priceless. Srsly. No Jk.