Body Heat

Ichigo sat at his dresser, currently doing his math homework. Stupid algebra. Sure he found it easy enough, but it was so repetitive.

He could hear Rukia's soft breathing coming from behind his closet. He had never actually seen her sleep before. The only one who had been in there before was Kon. And he snuck in after she was sleeping.

Speaking of Kon, where was he? Ichigo looked around the unusually quiet room.

"Probably on another one of his adventures," he mumbled as he walked back to his dresser. The clock read 2:02am. He didn't realize that it had got so late.

He glared down at his homework. He had been spending over an hour on it, and was only half done. His eyes grew wide. His homework!

Ichigo opened each drawer and dug through it furiously. He fanned out all the papers he had laying across his desk.

Throwing dozens of papers over his head he began to panic. Where was his homework?

He could never win. Letting out a loud sigh, he leaned over his desk. Picking up his textbook, he threw it over his shoulder in a sign of frustration. He didn't hear the satisfying sound of it hitting the ground behind him. Instead he heard a loud squeaking and the familiar cry of Kon.

"Ichigo, you idiot! Is this anyway to welcome your best friend home?" he heard Kon cry from behind him. He launched himself in his direction and grabbed the lion plush's head.

"Where the hell were you!" Ichigo semi-yelled, not wanting to wake up Rukia. That would only cause more yelling, and he really wasn't in the mood for that tonight.

"Why do you care?" Kon said crossing his arms, challenging him.

"I don't," Ichigo said while throwing Kon away from him. He landed in a lump on the floor.

"Humph," he said while crawling toward Ichigo who had sat down on the edge of his bed rubbing his head. "You'd better be glad I came home! If it wasn't for nee-san then I would've been gone long ago!"

Ichigo didn't bother answering. He didn't feel like it. He stood up and stomped out of the room, not forgetting to dig his heel in the frustrating plush's face on the way out.

He heard Kon yell after him while he exited the room. He heard the closet door slam open and Rukia yelling at Kon to shut up. He ignored the sounds of their bickering and decided to take a walk.

Grabbing a jacket, he walked out into the brisk night air. Good thing no one was home, so those two could fight to their hearts content.

He had to admit that it was pretty cold out. But the cold air helped his mind stay awake and aware. He looked up at the sky. Dark clouds were rolling in. It was going to rain that night, but it didn't bother him. He hated the rain, but it was good once and a while.

He walked several blocks before a loud roll of thunder and flash of lightning momentarily deafened and blinded him. The storm was worse then he thought. But it came quick so it wouldn't last very long. That was a fact.

The wind, which had been deadly calm before, began to pick up intensity. The rain began to pour. The rain slowly seeped through his light jacket and began to soak him. Deciding that the jacket wasn't doing any good, he took it off and threw it in a nearby garbage can, which was also filling up with rain. He watched as it floated atop the water and it slowly sank.

Now the cold wind was blowing against his skin, making it even colder out. Why was he out here in this horrible weather? Even he didn't know. He began to walk away from the overflowing trashcan.

Wait. Overflowing? Was it really raining that badly? He looked up, shielding his eyes from the rain and wind. Unfortunately that didn't help much. He couldn't see much more then a couple around him.

"Shit," he cursed as he ran for some sort of shelter. "Now Rukia's going to worry about me. Knowing her, she'll probably come out here looking for me."

Rukia searched each room before returning back to Ichigo's room.

"Kon, have you seen Ichigo?" she asked as she entered the room.

"Who cares," Kon said, while laying on his stomach on Ichigo's bed, reading a magazine.

Rukia left the room to look over the house again. She walked by the front door. The metal object that Ichigo had told her kept bad guys out was unlocked. His jacket was missing too. She heard the distant roll of thunder.

"Ichigo," she breathed out forcefully. "You idiot."

Suddenly, a loud clash of thunder and lightning lit up the darkened house. She saw the glow of Ichigo's room disappear with the lightning. She heard a frightened cry from Kon echo through the house.

"Why did you go out?" Rukia growled out. She reached over and grabbed her own coat. Opening the front door proved to be difficult. The force of the wind held it shut. Someone didn't want her to leave this house. She took off her coat and dragged herself upstairs. She sat down on Ichigo's bed and picked up the magazine Kon had been reading.

"Urgh!" she screeched throwing it away. "Kon!"

She let out a frustrated sigh. She started to think that she was sounding like Ichigo, since that was something he would do often. Why had he left the house in the middle of the night with a storm coming? She didn't do anything to him to make him angry.

"Kon!" she said reaching to get the plush off her back. He was looking at her drawings, snickering silently at how bad they were.

"I'm sorry, Nee-san! They are wonderful!" he said holding out the sketchbook in front of him.

"What did you say to Ichigo?" she growled accusingly.

"W-what?" he replied in a hurt tone.

"What did you say to make him leave?" she tried again, squeezing Kon's head a little harder.

"Nothing!" he said, trying to pry her hand off of his head. He was failing miserably though, since he didn't have any fingers.

Rukia eyed him threateningly, trying to see whether he was lying. As far as she could tell, he was telling her the truth. He even seemed a little concerned about the guy who allowed him to live in his house.

Rukia dropped him onto the bed and crawled her way to the window. The rain had ceased a little bit, allowing her to see the street below. She could see a tall figure running by. She moved closer to the window, pressing her forehead against the cold glass. She let out a dark glare as she watched it run by. If it had been Ichigo he would have come inside.

Ichigo watched the rain slow down slightly. He was shivering involuntarily. Rukia was going to be pissed. He cursed himself for running out into the storm. The temperature had dropped a few degrees, making it even colder.

He looked out from his shelter underneath a stand. He glanced at his watch quickly. He had been out for over an hour and the storm showed no signs of stopping.

She was obviously mad at him since she had not come to find him yet. He was sheltered from the rain but the wind was merciless. It blew against him, making him want to curl up in a ball. He brushed his wet hair out of his eyes.

Finally he could see where he was. Only a few blocks from home. Should he make a mad dash to home and get killed by Rukia? Or stay there and freeze to death?

Hard decision.

"Screw the cold," he said through his chattering teeth. He dashed in the direction of his house. His head started pounding and his body began to feel weak.

"Shit," he said when he was forced to stop. He sat down on the sidewalk in the pouring rain.

A car's headlights caught his attention. It sped by him, splashing the water on the side of the road all over his front.

He let out a good choice of words before gathering the last of his energy and staggered his way home slowly. His body was getting number and number as the minutes went by.

He knew that he would have a nasty cold after he got through this, all thanks to his own stupidness. Now he remembered why he hated the rain. That night was like this. It was cold out and the rain was pouring down violently. A car had even splashed water on him.

He remembered this feeling all too well. The cold numb feeling. Although back then, it was mostly from being in shock, now it was pure cold. He had wandered in the rain for days. He remembered being rushed to the hospital for hypothermia when they had found him wandering on the riverside.

He wouldn't let that happen to him again. He would make it back home.

Looking up through his wet bangs he spotted his house a few houses away. He leaned on the wall for a second to catch his breath. The cold was putting pressure on his lungs and it was getting harder to breath normally. He made his way to the front door and opened it with a shaking hand.

A fist made contact with his face and he fell to the ground unconscious.

Rukia looked down at Ichigo, fuming. Her look of death faltered when she saw the condition he was in.

His usually wild orange hair was flat and sticking to his head. His lips were a dark blue colour. His frown was deeper than usual. She assumed that he had discarded his jacket at some point and scolded him for doing so. His clothes clung to his body showing her every detail of his well-toned chest. But she paid no mind to that. (AN: I had to add that.)

But what worried her most was the degree of shaking his body was doing, even in unconsciousness. She called Kon down the stairs frantically. She heard him grumble and saw him come around a corner. His eyes widened at the sight of Ichigo lying on the floor.

"Kon you have to help me get him upstairs," she ordered while placing his head on her lap. She touched his cheek. It was deadly cold.

"Nee-san. I can't. My body is too small," he said apologetically. "If you were to stick me in his body, then I would fall unconscious too probably."

Rukia nodded in understanding. She'd have to bring him upstairs herself. She placed him on her back and picked him up in a piggyback. She was surprised on how light he was, considering how tall he was compared to herself. She slowly made her way up the stairs and into his room. She hated the feeling of his violent shivering on her back.

She sat him on the ground and and blushed as she quickly removed his soaked shirt and pants, trying to give him a little bit of privacy. It was difficult to do so without looking. She pulled out a new shirt and pants and put them on him. She took a deep breath before picking him up.

She placed him gently on his bed. Turning around for a moment, she ordered Kon, who had just come in, to get a few more blankets. He nodded and ran out to find more. She thanked the heavens that Kon didn't see her changing Ichigo. She would've never heard the end of it.

Rukia turned back to her shivering friend. She wrapped him tightly with his own blanket. She dried his hair with a towel lying on his bedroom floor.

"Stupid idiot," she said through cringed teeth. He had been through worse than this, right? Sure. But he was always in his shinigami form. But he was in his weak human body.

Kon's voice broke her from her thought. She turned to see him attempting to drag several comforters behind him. She ran up and picked up a couple of them.

Running back over to him, she placed one over him.

"Rukia," Ichigo mumbled in his deep slumber. His eyebrows tightened and his body tensed underneath the blankets.

Rukia watched him. He must be in pain. Right now she needed to concentrate in warming him up. But putting a few blankets over him wouldn't work very well if his own body wasn't emitting very much body heat itself. She hesitantly took a step toward him.

She knew what she had to do, but was hesitant in doing it. What if he got mad at her? But looking at his weakened form again settled it. She had to get in bed with him to warm him up.

She sat beside him, loosening up the blankets around him. She made her way inside. She laid her head slowly on the pillow beside his own.

She tensed when she felt him shift so he was facing her back. His cold hands made their way around her waist. She turned her head back to see his expression softening slightly. She snuggled closer to his chest, hoping that the heat her own body was offering would help.

She fell asleep at some point.

In the morning she woke up feeling like something was missing. She turned around to see Ichigo missing. Her whole body shot up as she scanned the room. She leaped up and searched the house. She shot to the kitchen.

Ichigo was sitting at the kitchen table, his chin resting on his arm. He was holding a newspaper in front of him, his eyes scanning the page. His other hand held a steaming cup of coffee. He looked tired and weak but his frown had lightened and he was smiling slightly.

His eyes left the page when he noticed her standing there, tapping her foot impatiently.

"Morning," he said casually. His voice sounded hoarse. His throat was probably killing him.

"You," she started, taking a step toward him, "are a complete idiot!"

Ichigo rolled his eyes, knowing that this would be coming. He sat up and leaned against the back of his chair.

"So I've been told," he said cockily.

Rukia sent him a cold glare.

"What?" he said giving her a strange look.

"Do you know how worried you had me last night?" she demanded, her voice growing soft.

Ichigo sighed. Now she was making him feel worse then he was already feeling. He stood up and grabbed her shoulders, almost as if he needed the support. He looked her in the eye but didn't say anything.

Rukia watched as he pushed himself up using the kitchen table. He wobbled over to her and stared at her with intense brown eyes. She blushed at his closeness. She never thought that Ichigo would have the guts to get that close to her, let alone any girl. But she never thought that she would ever get into bed with any guy so soon, let alone it being him. He did pull her closer to his body, but it was probably an unconscious reaction to feeling heat nearby. God he probably would've done the same thing if it were his father there.

Ichigo watched her cheeks turn a light pink colour then she looked deep in thought. He became confused when she started to giggle.

He pulled away from her and sent her a weird look. "What're you laughing at you little weirdo?"

Aware of him moving away she was brought back from her little imaginary picture of Ichigo hugging his father close in bed. Now that she thought of it, it was actually a really disturbing thought.

Ichigo watched her shudder and a look of disgust came across her face.

"Never mind, I don't want to know what's going on in that head of yours," he said while walking over to the kitchen sink.

"You really don't," Rukia said shaking her head violently.

Ichigo sent an odd glance over his shoulder in her general direction before returning to his stare outside.

"You hungry?" he asked her without looking at her.

"Kinda," she said as her stomach growled.

"Then make yourself something to eat," he said while turning toward her with a smirk on his face.

"Of course," she replied sarcastically. "The great Kurosaki Ichigo is too good make a girl a simple breakfast."

He cast her a slight glare before walking out. Rukia grabbed a handful of Honeycombs cereal out of the cupboard before following him. He was sitting on the couch with his head resting on the back cushion. (AN: I love Honeycombs.)

"You feeling alright?" she asked, putting a few pieces of the cereal on her mouth.

He waved a dismissive hand behind his head. "Yeah, I'm fine. Just tired."

Rukia stuck her tongue out at his orange mass of hair and leaped over the couch top to sit down beside him. He glared at her when she caused the whole couch to leap up. He looked at the handful of cereal in her hands.

He let out the familiar frustrated sigh and ran his hand through his hair.

"You call that a breakfast?" he said pointing at the few pieces left in her hands. She nodded dumbly and put another in her mouth, chewing it loudly almost challenging him to make her a better breakfast.

He threw his head back against the couch and stood up.

"Come on," he said pulling her up with her free hand. "I'll make you a breakfast. I'm not much of a cook but I can make a decent omelet."

Rukia looked down at the hand he was using to drag her own with. She remembered how cold they were last night. They were warm now.

"What's an omolat?"

"Omelet," he corrected. "It's eggs cooked with different things in it."

"Like?" she said getting curious.

"Anything you want," he said opening the fridge. He pulled out three eggs and took a pan out of the cupboard.

Rukia hadn't noticed until now how pale he looked.

"Actually Ichigo," she said interrupting him. "I think you should talk me through it. Let me do it," she said taking the eggs out of his hands gently.

"Okay," he said as he walked over to the kitchen table. He dragged a chair over and flopped himself down on it his chin resting on his head making him look bored. He yawned loudly.

"By the way," he started, a curious sound to his voice, "who changed me last night?"

Rukia hid her blush and said the first thing that came to mind, "Kon did it!"

Ichigo's eye twitched. "He's dead," he thought angrily. He eventually simmered down and the bored look replaced his deep scowl.

Rukia looked down at him for once. Ichigo looked up at her and frowned. He stood up and pushed the chair back to its place at the table. Rukia watched it slide across the floor.

"Hey, I was enjoying being taller then you," she said pouting.

"I wasn't," he said hopping up onto the counter, making him taller then before. He smirked down at her glaring face.

Her glare left her face as she remembered that he was alive and fighting. And all because of her lending him her body heat.

"Now let's make some breakfast and pray you don't burn the house down," he said while turning the over on from his position on the counter.

Fifteen minutes later, a seriously burned kitchen, a fuming Ichigo, and a Rukia, still hungry might I add, were standing on the lawn.

"I am never, ever letting you cook again."

The End