Author's Note:

A majority of the taking-off points are from dialogue and scenes in the manga, with spoilers for current chapters (286). Quoted dialogue (highlighted in italics throughout) either comes from the official Viz Shonen Jump translation or from fan translations available at Bleach Exile and Bleach Portal.

The Anti-Inoue Brigade (if it exists) should enjoy this. Reader, you have been warned. No flaming please.

Disclaimer: Bleach belongs to Kubo Tite and all the companies that make money from fans like me.

1. Third Floor Window

Even if he was a guy who read Shakespeare, Ichigo could not tolerate clich├ęs.

So early on he decided that he would never say all those words that are deemed necessary in human language: those empty phrases that are used like grease to ease the creaking mechanisms of society.

He decided he would never say sorry. He would never say I love you. He would never accept thanks, even if he deserved it.

On the flip side of the coin, he would never blame someone for an innate weakness. He would never lie to get his way. He would never mask his true thoughts with sugarcoated politeness.

He was just so bored with what was obvious.

He made up his mind, that if he would fall for someone, those words and phrases would be superfluous to her too. She would not demand meaningless words from him. Actions alone would count.

One hungry look across an empty classroom would be enough.