Okay, so here's my first attempt at a "romantic" Ichigo/Rukia story. (Thinking: Dear God please help me…)

Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach, because if I did…well I have no way of making it any better than it already is.

Ichigo had tried. He had tried to make it "romantic." He had tried to make it "special." He had actually taken Yuzu's advice and tried to be a nice, kind, loving man that every girl dreamed about. Trying counted, right?

But unfortunately, he had chosen Rukia. He had chosen her to be that girl that he fell in love (if that's what you would call it) with. It wasn't a romantic, beautiful love that they used to watch in movies. It was more like a "we'll get through it as long as you're there beside me," love.

And so, after eight years of knowing her, after saving her, after fighting along side her, after telling her that she just—just—please don't go, after all that Ichigo Kurosaki decided that he was going to marry her.

So he took her to a nice restaurant. He told their waiter about his "romantic" proposal. The waiter had given him a signal (his exact words: a scratch to his right temple….Odd huh?), took the ring, and told him not to worry, they had it all taken care of.

So, Ichigo sat at the dinner table with Rukia sitting across from him. She had at least tried to look nice. She had worn a black dress, which was strapless, with a necklace that she must have bought; Ichigo had never seen it before.

They sat there for a long time not talking. Usually, it wasn't hard to find conversation between Rukia and Ichigo, but tonight felt different, in Rukia's opinion.

"So," Rukia said, attempting to start a discussion. She put her hands together and looked around the restaurant at the very high class people. She shivered. It reminds me of one of those parties that I had to go to when I first became a Kuchiki.

She hated those parties.

"How do plan to pay for all of this?" she asked, taking a sip of juice. Fruit punch, her favorite. Specially requested by Ichigo, because a restaurant like this one did not serve fruit punch.

"My plan is," he said leaning in close so only she could here him, "we eat the free rolls and then sneak out the bathroom window after we're done."

Her eyes widened, and she set down her cup, clearly shocked. "Really?" she asked. "Ichigo, we can't do that."

He smirked.

She threw a piece of bread at him. "Ugh, I can't tell when your being serious and when you're just acting like a twelve year old." She smiled though and took another drink from her cup.

Their food came a while later. Rukia was sure stacking up a bill. Ichigo couldn't even begin to pronounce what her food's name was. All he knew was his bank account was going to be empty by the time that (if) they were married for only a couple months.

Rukia dug right in, not using the lady manners that she had learned to abandon since she started living with Kurosaki's.

Ichigo ate more slowly wondering how he was going to purpose. Should he get down on one knee and hold his ring, yelling for the entire world to hear. No, to corny. Maybe he should just whisper it quietly. No, that was to weak.

Ah, man.

What was he going to do?

A question interrupted his thoughts. "Ichigo?" Rukia asked swallowing a bit of her food. "Are you even listening? What's wrong?"

"Nothing, and yeah I was listening," he replied.

"Right," she mumbled going back to talking. "Anyway, Orihime told me that, when she's cooking she loves to mix…"

Bla bla bla, she's talking too much.

Without thinking he scratched his head. God, what was he going to do? And then he glanced over to the waiter that was supposed to bring him the ring, the wine, and the music that he requested.

And that waiter was coming out with the ring, the wine, and his hand up for the band's signal ready.

Oh no.

Ichigo looked to Rukia who was still talking about whatever it was that she was talking about, excused himself, and then walked over to the waiter.

"Sir," Ichigo started, "I'm not ready yet."

"Oh no," the man said wagging his finger at Ichigo. "You gave the signal, I bring the romance."

"But sir"—

"Sorry, there is no stopping the romance now," the waiter said walking out in front of Ichigo. "You better hurry. The lady looks a little bored."

Ichigo hurried back to his seat his temper wearing extremely thin. He sat down across from Rukia and started to talk.

"Rukia," he said. She looked up at him, the waiter handing her the wine. "I need you ask you something."

"What is it?" she asked, slightly annoyed at the waiter watching them.

He walked over to her and took the ring from the waiter. He pulled Rukia up on her feet and handed her the velvet covered box. She looked at it curiously and then opened it.

On a college budget, Ichigo didn't have a lot of money. He could only afford a ring that was a little less than a thousand dollars (eight-hundred and fifty-two dollars to be exact.)

Oh, but he hoped that she still liked it. She was a Kuchiki after all. She was probably used to expensive, nice things.

The ring was beautiful in Rukia's opinion. It was small but caring. Cheaper but lovely. She took it from the box and stared down at it.

"Ichigo?" she asked. "What does this mean?"

"It means," Ichigo said, "that I want you to marry me."

She dropped the ring. It fell in her fruit drink and she immediately started yelling. "WHAT!" she screamed. "WHAT DO YOU MEAN "MARRY YOU"!?"

"Marry me?" was Ichigo's answer thinking, oh no, this is bad.

"Do you know how impossible that is?" she asked her voice suddenly very low. "With my brother and Renji. With the Soul Society and the Living World. I'm dead you your alive, Ichigo."

And then she stormed out toward the alleyway. Ichigo looked down at the punch and pulled out his ring.

Then he looked around at the people around him. They were whispering things like, "Is that how kids today propose?" or "Ooohhh, poor guy."

He handed the waiter his credit card. "Here," he mumbled before going outside, after Rukia.

He reached the fire exit and went outside despite "don't not exit unless case of emergency," sign. He found her pacing the alleyway, mumbling something to herself. He walked over to her, his feet making soft padding noise as he reached her.

"Rukia," he said.

She looked over to him, her face clearly confused. She wasn't crying, she wasn't upset in the slightest way, she was just confused.

"Ichigo you fool! Do you have any idea what you just asked me in there?" she asked walking over to him. "You know that this'll never work." She shook her head. "Never. No matter how much either one of us want it to. It just won't. Not ever."

Ichigo smirked again for the second time that night. "So you want to," he said, putting his hands on his hips. "You want to get married."

"Ugh, why wouldn't I?" she asked. He smiled. "It's just, the Soul Society….They'll make me go back if they know. I'll bring disgrace to the Kuchiki name. My brother, he'll never give his permission."

"As I recall," Ichigo said, holding up his index finger up. "You don't usually follow the Soul Society's orders. And who really cares about what "Big Brother" wants. And you've already brought disgrace to the Kuchiki name when you gave you powers to me"—

"You took them!" Rukia interrupted. "I only wanted to give you half but you took nearly all of it."

Ichigo rubbed his forehead. "Not this argument again," he replied. "If you didn't even try to give me your powers in the first place then I wouldn't have taken them."

"And if I didn't give them to you, you and your family would have died." She won again. She always had to bring his family into this.

"Look," Ichigo said more seriously. "Rukia, it doesn't matter what the Soul Society thinks. Who cares what your brother thinks. Who cares"—

"I care!" she yelled. "I care about my family just like you! I care about my friends, just like you. I care, like you care! Don't give me that crap about not caring about what other people think. I know that you don't, but I have to."

"No," Ichigo said. He grabbed Rukia's shoulders. When she tried to pull away he just pulled her in closer. "No. In school, when all our friends thought that we were an item, did we care?"

"Oh please, I didn't know what that meant back then. I was confused about opening a juice box for death's sake!"

"When I came to save you did I care? Did you?"

"I was okay with dying."

"Yeah right. No one's okay with dying."

Ichigo backed up. Rukia crossed her arms. Ichigo turned away, his back toward Rukia. "But you want to?" was all Ichigo said after a long silence.

"Yes," Rukia replied. Her violet eyes were soft and caring, filling up with translucent liquid. She hated showing these pitiful emotions. But this is Ichigo. Ichigo…Ichigo….He was different.

"Then let's do it," Ichigo said, not moving. "Let's get married. You won't have to worry about the Soul Society because you'll be here, in the human world as a human, not a spirit, not a Soul Reaper. You won't have to worry about the Kuchiki name because you won't be a Kuchiki; you'll be doing it as Rukia and Rukia only. And don't even get me started on your brother."

Rukia took a hesitate step toward Ichigo. Her shoe clacked on the concrete as she did. Her eyes looked back at the sunset hair that belonged to Ichigo.

"I never care," Ichigo stated. "I never care about what people think. The only thing that I care about is my family and my friends."

"Ichi"—

"And you don't either. If you want to, do it."

He turned around. "Do it." He repeated his last words and fell silent. He was waiting for her answer.

"I'm sorry I dropped your ring in the fruit punch," Rukia replied, the slightest smile tugging at the corners of her mouth.

"It's okay," Ichigo replied. He walked over to her and pulled the ring out of his jacket's pocket. He started to go down on one knee (hopefully he could at least make something right out of this whole night) until Rukia stopped him.

She took his free hand and pulled him up. "Don't kneel," she said, her eyes locking with his. "We're equals."

"Not when you that size." She glared and he smiled, thinking that she didn't know how a man is supposed to purpose, properly of course. They weren't proper.

And brought the ring to her attention and said, "Then Rukia Kuchiki, will you marry me?"

She took the ring and slipped it on her right ring finger. "Yes."

And then they leaned into a kiss that told each other that despite the problems that they would face, despite the harsh words, fowl scowls, and over excited little sisters, despite everything that they knew that they were doing wrong…

Regardless of being a spirit or a human…

Even though one was dead and one was alive…

In spite of being happy or sad, strong or weak, hurtful or comforting, sarcastic or sweet, loving or not…

Despite the odds, Rukia Kuchiki, the newest member of the Kurosaki family, and Ichigo Kurosaki, the substitute Soul Reaper, would be happy….Most of the time.

Okay that was it. Hopefully I did a pretty good job. Review please! Thanks for getting through this!