Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach. But I'd take it if anyone offered!


Insecurities

A Companion Piece to Jealous Thoughts


Rukia sat comfortably on the soft area surrounding the beach bonfire her friends had set up. It was still light out, but everyone agreed that building the bonfire before the sun set would be best. Her toes curled under the warmth of the sun-heated sand as she sat quietly listening to the sounds of the ocean and people laughing in the distance.

It was Keigo's idea for everyone to go on an outing to the beach. And he was especially adamant about everyone going, because the last beach trip he'd planned had failed miserably. Rukia considered telling him that no one could make the first trip because they were busing trying to stop her execution, not that she'd asked them to, but decided that would probably just lead to more complaints from the social brunette. Oh, and it would out her as a shinigami. Having Chad, Ishida, and Inoue know, was quite enough people.

Besides, now they were actually having fun. Rukia had never been to a beach before, she had never seen the ocean before, and she loved it. She watched the water that stretched to the horizon and considered the ocean to be a tangible sky. With the sky, Rukia could only imagine diving into soft clouds, but with the ocean she could actually dive into the water and let the waves carry her.

"Don't think too hard, you might break something." Ichigo sat down next to her with a smirk.

Rukia rolled her eyes and was about to retort, but she suddenly lost all intentions to banter idiotically. A very tan, very muscled, and very bare chest was facing her.

Of course. They were at the beach. Human fashion was a lot less…decent, than what shinigami wore. Ichigo was wearing a pair of red…bored shorts? Maybe it was board…that would make more sense. But the name for his bottoms wasn't important, what was important was that he was shirtless and out of that stuffy school uniform.

Although she did like how tight his uniform was…

But a bare chest trumps anything that covers his torso any day. He had a very nice torso. And he looked very comfortable and relaxed sitting in his shorts next to her. Rukia just felt awkward in her skin tight, flowered, indigo two-piece. A banini…no…panini? Curse modern human slang. A bikini! Yes, and the only reason she'd actually gone outside in it was because she was wearing a wrap to cover her bottom half.

But Ichigo seemed to be concentrating on the top half of her ensemble.

Rukia found the urge to banter again. He just left himself wide open for it. "Don't stare too hard, you might pop them." She shot back at Ichigo. She was preparing herself to laugh at his blush, but instead he just leaned closer and said quietly in her ear,

"You look good in that Rukia." His breath created a hot breeze near her ear and Rukia couldn't help but smile.

"For some reason, I have the suspicion that you're not picturing me in it."

This time he did blush, but only a little. That was the only con of their relationship. It was more and more difficult to embarrass him to the point of blushing. She almost missed the prudish Ichigo…almost…

…No. She didn't.

It had been three weeks since Kurosaki Ichigo had finally kissed her. Rukia had mentally deemed the event as 'the night Ichigo found some balls.' Seriously, they had been together, working side by side for years. They could practically read each other's thoughts and had changed the others world, but it took forever for that carrot top to even lay a hand on her.

But Rukia had more than forgiven Ichigo for making her wait so long, because for every day the past three weeks, he was making it up to her.

He'd made it up to her by cornering her in the kitchen, the living room, his room of course, the bathroom a couple of times, and he'd even managed to get her back on that damn roof.

They were much more careful the second time…and the third…and…What could she say? Ichigo was always stubborn and determined. He was good at getting what he wanted. And Rukia had to admit that she wanted it too.

For a matter of fact…Rukia wanted it right now.

She smiled coyly at Ichigo and began leaning in for a slow deliberate kiss. But when Ichigo angled his head to meet the kiss, Rukia saw Inoue walking towards them.

Thinking quickly, -which she always did, a shinigami must always be on guard-she smacked Ichigo hard in the head, causing him to topple over a few feet away from her.

After scrambling up and spitting sand from his mouth, he glared at her. "What the f-"

"Kurosaki-kun?" Inoue came right in time and Rukia just rose her eyebrows at Ichigo. He realized the reason for her actions and just crossed his arms with a pout.

She should have known better than to flirt with Ichigo in such a public place. They had both decided it would be better to keep matters between them private. Keeping their relationship a secret would spare them from embarrassing gushing, embarrassing questions, embarrassing assumptions…all together, it would keep their friends from embarrassing them.

Plus, Rukia was in no way eager to inform her Nii-sama about the recent developments. She shuddered involuntarily at the thought of thousands of cherry blossom fragments bringing about her doom.

She didn't even want to imagine what they would do to Ichigo…

"What's up Inoue?" Ichigo grumbled out.

Perhaps she'd been spoiling him, because he looked like a kid who's candy was taken away. Rukia was certainly not candy.

"Are you alright?" Inoue asked sincerely. "Did you say something to make Kuchiki-san angry with you?"

"Why's it gotta be my fault?!" Ichigo cried indignantly.

"Because it's always your fault." Rukia said logically. She waved her hand, dismissing Ichigo. "There was just a big fly buzzing around Inoue." She smiled. She liked that she could be honest with Inoue…well as honest as she could be. She was just happy to drop the school girl act around her. Rukia wouldn't admit it, but she hated doing it as much as Ichigo hated watching it. Although the fact that he hated it made her enjoy it more…they definitely had a strange partnership.

"Oh, well…" Inoue shifted in the sand and her hands played with the hem of the skirt she was wearing with her bikini top. "I was actually wondering if Kurosaki-kun, if…you would like to take a walk on the beach with me…"

Both Rukia and Ichigo leaned back in surprise. Rukia knew, and Ichigo would have to be completely clueless not to know, that Inoue had a crush on him. Although Rukia had seen Inoue's feelings for Ichigo grow a lot over time. Rukia was almost jealous with how honest Inoue was with herself. And now she was really putting herself out there. She didn't know Rukia and Ichigo were together…

"Um…sure…Inoue." Ichigo didn't bother to throw a glance at Rukia. That would make their relationship pretty obvious and Ichigo had gotten really good at lying about it…almost too good for Rukia's liking.

"Have fun!" Rukia gave a friendly wave as the two started walking down the beach. An unpleasant and unfamiliar wave rolled through Rukia's stomach at the sight of them walking off together.

"She's finally gonna tell him." Tatsuki suddenly appeared along with her other classmates and sat near Rukia.

"Noo!!" Chizuro moaned in agony. "My sweet Hime can't go off with a brute like Kurosaki! She needs a more feminine touch!"

"Quit saying stuff like that Chizuro!" Tatsuki slammed a foot into the other girl's stomach.

Rukia had to hand it to Chizuro though; the girl could take a punch.

"As jealous as I am that Ichigo's gonna be with that hottie," Keigo started before sweeping annoyingly close to Rukia. "I'm gonna be glad when he's taken off the market." He winked at her and Rukia had the urge to poke him in the eye.

"What makes you so sure he's going to reciprocate her feelings Asano?" Ishida pushed his glasses up his nose. He looked generally more annoyed than usual.

"What kind of idiot wouldn't say yes to Inoue?" Keigo said like it was the most obvious thing in the world.

But maybe he was right. Inoue was beautiful, kind, smart, loyal, trustworthy. Rukia almost got sick of the compliments she was bestowing on her friend, but they were all true. She couldn't think of a negative thing to say about Inoue.

Rukia frowned. What kind of idiot wouldn't say yes to Inoue? Inoue wasn't sexually aggressive in any way, but the girl was blessed…in more ways than one…

Rukia looked down at her chest. She wasn't that small. She was a petite girl overall, it wasn't fair to compare her to someone like Inoue.

Crap. She was feeling…jealous…Jealous of a girl who was setting herself up to be hurt. Ah…guilt was a much easier emotion than jealousy. At least she was used to it.

"To be honest," Mizuiro spoke up. "I never got the idea that Ichigo was interested in Inoue that way."

"He'd have to be gay if he wasn't." Keigo mumbled.

"I agree with Mizuiro." Mahana, who was particularly forthcoming with her opinions, gave one now. "I always thought Kurosaki-kun was interested in you Rukia."

Damn, that girl always got straight to the point.

Rukia laughed in girly fashion. "I've told you Mahana. Ichigo and I are just friends." Then she added, "I think Inoue would be good for Ichigo. He needs someone to make him smile more often."

And that idiot said she couldn't act.

Everyone else looked surprised her. Even Chad.

"Wow Rukia." Tatsuki gaped at her. "As much as I want Orihime to be happy, I kinda thought you and Ichigo had something going on too."

"Why would you say that?" Rukia asked generally surprised. Her acting skills were top notch. She'd thought if anyone found out about what was going on, it would be because Ichigo let it slip. He wasn't always the most subtle with his actions. But he had done an amazing job of playing it cool, calm, and collected.

"Well it's just that Ichigo's never opened up to anyone so quickly before." Tatsuki explained.

"You almost sound jealous Tatsuki…" Keigo teased.

"Actually, I was." She stated boldly.

Everyone looked shocked. And Rukia began to wonder how many girls had feelings for Ichigo…

Inoue…Tatsuki…herself…Rinrin the mod soul…a lot of girls at school, now that she thought about it…no wonder he had a massive ego…

"You like Ichigo?" Even Chad was curious now.

Tatsuki shook her head. "I don't care about Ichigo like that, but I was definitely jealous when Rukia came around."

"Why?" Rukia asked. She really liked Tatsuki and respected her. She couldn't understand why the girl would be jealous over…her. Rukia was no one to be envious of.

"Well, like I said. He bonded with you so quickly. Ichigo's never been the most open type of guy, and suddenly he let you in. I've known him forever, but you two seemed closer than I've ever been with him."

Rukia cast her eyes down. She understood that. She felt that way when she'd drifted apart from Renji. Guilt came roaring back into her heart. It wasn't time that put a rift in Ichigo and Tatsuki's friendship…it was what she did.

She had cheated. Rukia didn't belong in his world. They only reason they had any relationship at all was because she'd changed it completely. Would they have anything in common if she were just a normal human girl? If she hadn't drove her zanpukuto through him that night, would he even find her remarkable enough to give his affections to?

Tatsuki didn't know it, but she had an honest history with Ichigo. She had got to know him and stayed friends with him before his mother had died. Tatsuki got to meet Ichigo's mother. Rukia wouldn't and couldn't ever cheat her way into that part of Ichigo's life.

Damn…it felt like jealousy again…

Rukia didn't want to be involved in the conversation anymore. She hated feeling so…vulnerable. Since when had she been a slave to such human emotions?

Oh. It was probably the same day Ichigo stuck his tongue down her throat.

"Are you alright Kuchiki?" Ishida asked.

She must have spaced out because everyone was looking at her with concern.

"Oh yes…I was just thinking of an old friend. I know how you feel Tatsuki. But Ichigo and I will never have the history that you two have." She wasn't sure if that was a lie or not, but it surely held a lot of truth.

Tatsuki smiled at her. "Thanks Rukia. But I'm not jealous anymore. I was just making a point that you two are close."

"Well I guess they're not that close, because Ichigo and Inoue are still out together." Mizuiro observed.

Rukia looked out into the ocean water, and sure enough, it was beginning to darken to a murky midnight blue color as the sun had sunk below the horizon. The wind picked up and due to a chill that sent Rukia into shivers, she was forced to move closer to the bonfire.

"Oh man…" Kiego shivered too, but Rukia was sure he wasn't cold in the least. "What do you think they're doing by now?"

Oh she didn't want to know. She shouldn't be jealous of Ichigo and Inoue still out with each other…should she? No, no, of course not. She and Ichigo were together, she shouldn't start believing her own lies to her friends…but…Now that she thought about it, the only things her and Ichigo had discussed were keeping what they had a secret. She realized they never defined what they had.

She'd never called him her boyfriend, and he'd never called her his girlfriend, but that was only because the labels weren't important…right?

Rukia was getting seriously frustrated with her own doubts and insecurities. She hadn't felt this way since she was adopted into the Kuchiki clan.

Keigo leaned away from Rukia dreamily. "If I were with Inoue right now-"

"Don't…" Tatsuki threatened and Chizuro looked pissed too.

"Don't even finish that sentence Asano." Tatsuki warned.

"Don't worry Tatsuki." Mizuiro stated. "Ichigo's not the type to, 'love 'em and leave 'em'. If they're doing anything like that, I'm sure Ichigo will make an honest woman of Inoue when high school's over."

She really didn't want to be involved in the conversation anymore. She and Ichigo hadn't gone…that far…yet…

"What the hell are you talking about?!" Tatsuki yelled and put a fist in front of his face.

"Why are you talking about marriage already?!" Ishida cried out loudly and looking like he might faint.

Seemed Rukia wasn't the only one feeling a bit jealous…

"I-I wasn't trying to insinuate anything!" Mizuiro stuttered and put up his hands in front of him. "I was trying to calm everyone down!"

"We all know Ichigo's too much a scaredy-cat virgin to do anything." Keigo defended his friend.

"Why don't we follow them to see what's going on for ourselves?"

Oh shit.

That came out of her mouth.

Tatsuki smirked at her. "I didn't know you had it in you Rukia!"

"I-I- I was just joking!" Rukia attempted to take back her words.

"No, that's a great idea!" Keigo jumped towards her. "You're so beautiful Kuchiki-san! Beauty and brains in one small and sexy package!"

Rukia was sure even an innocent schoolgirl would plant a foot in a guy's face for saying that to her.

"Come on Rukia." Tatsuki grabbed her arm once Keigo was down and started dragging her away from the warmth of the bonfire, towards the direction they'd last seen Ichigo and Inoue. "There's no backing down now. Let's find out what they're up to."

Tatsuki was a very strong girl.

Rukia couldn't help but be dragged down the beach as Tatsuki, Keigo, Mizuiro, and Ishida took off looking for their friends. Chad was the only one who didn't want to go, probably not wanting to die prematurely when Ichigo caught them spying, but everyone else was told to wait so the mission could be discreet.

Although any discreet mission with Keigo was bound to fail.

"Now Kuchiki-san, there might be some strange, new things for you to see when we walk in on them-" Keigo tried to flirt with her under the guise of comfort.

"Be quiet Asano!" Ishida gritted out. "I have a feeling they're this way."

Rukia had no doubt Ishida was honing in on their spiritual energies. That was totally cheating…she should have thought of it earlier…

The small group neared an area of the beach that was hidden by a small, grassy, cliff overlooking it. Ichigo and Inoue were under the cliff, just out of sight.

Ishida and Tatsuki in the lead, silently laid down, leaning over the edge where Keigo and Mizuiro soon joined them by plopping between their bodies.

Rukia reluctantly went over to the edge with the others.

"Wow, I can see Inoue's cleavage if I lean far enough!" Keigo said before Tatsuki knocked the air out of him.

"I'll bet Ichigo has a much better view." Mizuiro commented.

"Shh!" Ishida whispered sternly.

Rukia couldn't help her curiosity, and leaned far enough to see the 'couple'.

Wow, she really could see Inoue's cleavage.

They were both sitting next to each other with their knees bent in front of them. It was a weird angle, but Rukia could make out that Inoue was shifting closer to Ichigo and inching her hand to lay on top of his.

"They're sitting closer together!" Mizuiro whispered.

"They're holding hands!" Keigo gasped.

How far was Ichigo going to take this? Were the past three weeks just the two of them messing around? It meant more than that to Rukia…If Ichigo had been using her…

No. Rukia struggled with herself. Inoue was just a friend. Rukia didn't have to worry about Ichigo actually doing something. He really cared for her, he wouldn't use her, she'd kill him if he did.

Rukia shut her eyes tight and shook her head. What idiot thought spying would be a good idea?

Oh yeah…

"We should leave, this is a pri-mmph!" Tatsuki slammed a hand over Rukia's mouth.

"Shh! It's getting really good!" Tatsuki whispered.

Rukia watched Inoue take Ichigo's hand. She couldn't tell if Ichigo was nervous or not. She could only see the tops of their heads.

Damn that spiky hair.

"Kurosaki-kun…I…I just-thank you for coming out with me and spending this time with me…I…I really appreciate it." Inoue said softly.

"Well…you're my friend Inoue, it's no problem." Ichigo said.

Was he trying to let her down easy? Of course he was. Ichigo was loyal and trustworthy. Rukia was just being unreasonable. Damn it, she was being jealous over nothing. Rukia was not behaving the way a Kuchiki should. Kuchiki's had pride and style, and were above petty jealousies, shallow thoughts, and imagining things like peeing on a guy to establish her territory….

If her Nii-sama could only see her now. No…it was better to not tempt fate…This day was already going to hell.

She didn't deserve Ichigo…

"Holy shit, she's leaning in to kiss him!" Ishida actually cursed.

Crap if she wouldn't fight for him though!! Where was her damn soul candy?! Stupid pocket-less bikini!

"No you idiot! She's about to confess!" Tatsuki whispered astonished.

Oh…perhaps changing into a shinigami was a bit drastic…

"Kurosaki-kun," Inoue started talking again. "We've known each other for a long time…and I've always…This is really hard for me to say, but I feel I owe it to myself…and you…"

Everyone leaned forward, clinging tightly to the edge of the cliff. Rukia felt like she should say something, stop whatever was about to happen, but damn that Tatsuki and her strong hands!

Rukia watched as Inoue moved even closer. Ichigo didn't back down. He must have had some kind of plan…

"Kurosaki-kun…" Inoue's head tilted.

"Oh she is about to kiss him!" Tatsuki finally agreed. "I told her to be aggressive!" she whispered excitedly.

Any plan Ichigo…

"Inoue…" Rukia watched Ichigo put a hand on her cheek.

Not any plan! She took it back!

"Inoue, I'm in love with Rukia." Ichigo confessed.

The four people leaning over the edge with Rukia suddenly lost all interest in the couple below them, and stared at her instead.

"I know you are." Inoue spoke, and all heads turned back over the edge.

"You do?" Ichigo asked. "Then why…?"

Rukia watched Inoue dip her head. She felt horrible for causing her friend pain, but there was also an elation inside of her at hearing Ichigo say those words. Even if he didn't know she heard him say them…he probably wouldn't be too happy when he found out she did either…

"I said I owed it to you and myself. I just had to get everything off my chest." Inoue looked back up to Ichigo. "I had to hear you say it out loud."

Ichigo scratched the back of his head. He was going to get a bald spot if he kept that up.

"Well…how did you know I…how did you know how I felt about Rukia?" he asked nervously.

Inoue actually laughed. "Kurosaki-kun, I knew when Kuchiki-san first appeared that she was special to you. But I figured out last week that you two were together when I saw you kissing each other in the hallway."

So much for careful…

Rukia's spying friends dropped their jaws when they stared at her this time.

"Rukia!" Tatsuki gasped slowly.

Rukia opened her mouth and left it open. No words came out. So she just shrugged and…well she ran.

"I have to pee!!" She called out an excuse.

Oh…so graceful… Ichigo must have been rubbing off on her…not like that…actually…Damn these thoughts!

Rukia didn't know what to do. It wasn't in her nature to just run away from confrontation, but the whole day was insane. She could do something a little out of character given the situation. She'd just spied on her…whatever he was, heard him confess he loved her, watched him break another girls heart, and then find out the girl knew all along, only to be outed in front of the friends who weren't supposed to be there spying in the first place!

So Rukia just sped off towards the darkest area of the beach she could find. She just needed to get away from everyone else for a minute. She had to get her emotions and whatever lies she was telling in order. She couldn't keep track anymore.

She ran to a cave they had swam by earlier just before the tide went out. A darkened cave was the perfect spot to collect herself, and the jumble of jagged rocks surrounding it made a perfect shelter.

Rukia started walking inside to see there was just enough light to make out small tide pools along the floor. Suddenly a shadow fell over the light reflecting in the water. Rukia turned around to see Ichigo come in behind her.

How had he caught up so quickly? Did he catch them spying? She did yell that she had to pee…How was Inoue doing?

Rukia felt ashamed for running off in the climax of things. How dishonorable and selfish.

Selfish.

That was the cause of the guilt she'd been feeling all day. Rukia was selfish for trapping Ichigo the way she did. First trapping him in duty as a shinigami, trapping him in a relationship, and then in lies to his friends. What kind of-

Her reprimands were cut off when Ichigo's mouth crashed onto hers and his hands grabbed her face, holding her tightly in place.

He didn't give her a chance to even open her mouth willingly before he forced it open and thrust his tongue inside, kissing her deeply and furiously.

His kiss ended as suddenly as it started, and Rukia actually reeled back, but Ichigo caught her by the waist and eased her against the wall for a support. He leaned down and rested his forehead on hers. They were both panting, but Rukia was staring at Ichigo with wide eyes, while his were closed.

The bastard had the nerve to kiss her like that and then look calm.

"I love you Rukia."

So much for calm.

"Wh…what?" She didn't think he'd actually confess to her.

"I said I lov-"

"I heard what you said." She interrupted.

Ichigo pulled his head off of hers and lost that look of calm. Ah, annoyance was very familiar.

"Then why the hell did you did you say 'what'?" Yes, he was very annoyed.

She'd only said it because she was shocked. He didn't need to get an attitude with her. "I'll say whatever I want to say. You don't control me." Rukia spoke plainly.

Ichigo slumped in exasperation. She loved making things difficult for him.

"I know I don't-"

"I love you too." Rukia broke in softly.

"What the hell?! Are you trying to kill me?! Stop being so confusing!" Ichigo's cry echoed in the cave, but the echo sounded more like a whine than anger.

"I'm not being confusing. You're the one who suddenly grabbed me, kissed me, and is now yelling at me." Rukia replied.

"I just had to get it off my chest." He copied Inoue's words. He stepped away from her and scratched his head.

Seriously, a bald spot. Maybe Ikkaku had a difficult girlfriend and that's why his head was so shiny.

"I um…I just wanted to tell you first…or rather second…"He looked guilty.

Then Rukia realized. Ichigo didn't know he was being spied on. He thought he confessed to Inoue, when really…a lot more people were in on the secret…

"Ichigo-" Rukia was about to tell him everything before he interrupted.

"Look, Inoue knew. Well, I kinda told her, but she already knew. And really," Ichigo shrugged and cocked his head, "It's kinda your fault that she knew."

"Excuse me?!" Rukia shouted. Guilt and selfishness be damned. She was doing womankind a favor if she took Kurosaki Ichigo off the market. How dare he blame her!

"Inoue caught us." He said simply, not offering any explanation.

"I know she caught us! But how in the hell is that my fault?! You were the one who couldn't wait five minutes until we made it to the roof of the school!"

"Well you were the one who kept dropping shit to pick up right in front of me!"

He had a point there…maybe that one was her fault.

"Wait a minute..." Ichigo stopped and considered what she said. Uh oh…He was catching on now… "How did you know Inoue saw us in the hallway at school?" He moved closer to her in an intimidating way.

Unfortunately for him, it only served to turn her on and didn't scare her in the least.

But she did owe him the truth. He had confessed to her after all. Rukia scratched what would be her future bald spot. "Um…Tatsuki, Keigo, Mizuiro, Ishida, and I kinda followed where you and Inoue were and saw the whole thing." She spit out.

He looked shocked. "You-you spied on me?!" He yelled until she backed into the wall again.

But Rukia stood her ground. "Well I'm sorry but you went off with Inoue and left me with the gossip hounds! I've been lying to so many people I lost track of what was true and what wasn't! And suddenly it became a good idea to see what was going on with you two…"

"We both agreed to keep us a secret! You can't blame me for being good at hiding it!" Ichigo's arms were straight at his sides and his fists were clenched.

"Well you can't be that great at it because everyone knows now!" Rukia poked him in the chest.

"Everyone knows because you were jealous about me going off with Inoue and followed us!" Ichigo started poking back, which wasn't fair because his fingers were a lot longer and stronger than hers.

"I was not jealous!" She slapped his poking hand away. "I was…I was…" Damn, she couldn't find the words.

"You were jealous because you let stupid rumors and probably Keigo get to you." Ichigo wasn't yelling anymore. He didn't need to. The point had already been received.

"Well…" she crossed her arms and pouted. It wasn't often that Ichigo won one of their fights. In fact…this was probably a first.

"Did I just win an argument with you?"

The jerk was smirking at her now. She'd wipe that smirk off his face the best way she knew how.

Rukia grabbed Ichigo by the biceps and spun him around against the wall she had previously been pushed up against.

"Ow! I'm not wearing a shirt, these rocks are-" she grabbed and pulled his neck down to her level and wrapped her lips around his.

Kicking and punching were great when she was trying to get her way, but lately Rukia thought they were a bit immature for her taste…now anyway…

It worked as well as she thought, because Ichigo stopped fighting, stopped gloating, and returned her kiss the way he had when he first confronted her in the cave. Now they were fighting on an entirely different kind of battlefield…

She was totally winning too.

Rukia mercilessly took his tongue with hers, sucking and nipping in all the ways she'd discovered he'd liked. Then all she had to do was moan a bit and the guy was like putty. The echo of the cave really worked to her advantage.

But then he started cheating.

Ichigo responded by putting his hands on her uniquely sensitive spots, the small of her back in particular, and she couldn't help but arch into his body even more, suddenly realizing beachwear left a lot of skin open to touch. Then with a masculine grunt, he gripped her upper thighs as he hoisted her up against him, forcing her to wrap her legs around his body.

Rukia considered it cheating because she couldn't do the same back.

But she loved it when he cheated…

"Ichigo!" Rukia attempted to cover her gasp with a scold. But she was under serious pressure and was positive her acting wasn't going to save her.

She felt him smirk as his mouth left her face to kiss more of her body. He'd lifted her pretty high and could reach more without throwing out his neck.

They both groaned as he showered kisses on her neck and her collar bone and her chest. She could feel his body get hotter and his mouth get needier. Rukia was panting so hard she could barely breathe.

She almost wanted him to slow down so she wouldn't hyperventilate, but she didn't want to douse his fire either.

Breathing was overrated anyway.

Suddenly their height dropped and Rukia was afraid he'd actually passed out. But Ichigo was only lowering to them to ground and leaned on top of her, his tongue now running along her neck and ears.

They'd learned very quickly that altitude and heavy petting did not mix.

Rukia smiled as Ichigo continued kissing her. It may have taken them awhile to finally admit their feelings but…well, Ichigo was always a fast learner.

When his hand slid under her back and began to fiddle with her bikini ties-

He couldn't learn everything fast-

Rukia took her arms away from his broad back and stretched them above her head in pleasure, but she suddenly cooled considerably. She strained to look behind her and realized the tide was coming back in and ocean water was lapping at her at her hair.

Breathing might have been overrated for awhile, but drowning was a bit more permanent and probably more painful.

Rukia pulled her head up a bit and found Ichigo gave up on the bikini tie to focus on the valley between her breasts instead. "Ichigo, I'm getting wet." She said while trying not to pant.

Oh he took that the wrong way…

Ichigo looked up at her with wide eyes and a grin that made Keigo look like an angel.

Rukia slammed her legs shut before Ichigo could maneuver his head lower. Now was not the time!

…but maybe later.

"Oi!" Ichigo cried out. "You are trying to kill me!"

Rukia splashed him with the water that was now rapidly entering the cave, just to cool him off a bit. "You idiot! I'm saving you from potentially drowning! Don't think you're going to have your way with me on the floor of a flooding cave!"

Ichigo shook from the cold and quickly slung Rukia over shoulder to carry her out of the cave.

"Ichigo!" she yelled out and slapped his chest. She was pretty thankful he hadn't gotten her bikini untied now. "Quit manhandling me! I can walk!"

"I'm just trying to find a place that isn't getting filled with water!" he complained.

Ichigo had to wade through the water as he carried her out of the cave. When he reached a part of the beach past the rocks he set her down on the sand.

Rukia crossed her arms. "They should put up some signs or something! We could have been in serious danger. She saw Ichigo roll his eyes and then point behind her to a sign reading, "Caution: Rapid Tide".

Oh…

"So do we have to face the music now?" Ichigo looked to Rukia with an uncomfortable expression.

"Well we could keep denying it, but we'd look pretty stupid." Rukia reasoned. "But then again, you're used to that aren't you?" Rukia smirked as she dodged one of Ichigo's arms as he tried to grab her.

He let out a loud frustrated sigh. "How could I love someone so damn annoying?"

"I ask myself the same thing everyday." Rukia sighed back.

"Whatever." Ichigo grabbed for Rukia again, but this time she let him take a hold of her hand.

He actually blushed.

Rukia gaped at him. "You don't blush when you're thinking about me topless but holding my hand turns you strawberry?"

"Well it's different when we're alone." He said slowly. "I'm used to you knowing things about me, but now everyone's gonna see what's going on."

Rukia understood. They were both fairly private people, letting only the other in to how they were truly feeling. Letting other people get a glimpse of that was a big step.

Rukia squeezed his hand reassuringly. They were partners. They could handle things together. As much as Rukia loved to torture him, she'd always protect him.

"Plus it's not like there's a lot for me to imagine." He said carelessly.

But now he'd have to die.

Rukia squeezed Ichigo's hand and smiled as sweet as fangs could smile.

"I think it's time we tell Nii-sama about us."

That would do the trick…


AN: It's back with a vengence!! Not really, I just got SO many great responses to Jealous Thoughts, I thought I owed it to people to write a little more. I don't like it was much as the first, but it's got it's moments. Enjoy!