"Hey, Ichigo."

Even the top of the staircase smelled like concrete, though the scent of sky was mixed in. Rukia groped for the small cardboard box on the other side of her carrot-top companion and snatched it, pulling out one of its innards. The pocky happened to be strawberry flavored. He gave her a venom-lackluster glare and grabbed it back, sticking three of the sticks into his mouth.

"What?"

The knee-length denim of her skirt exposed the slightest bit of knee skin as Rukia hugged her legs close to her chest. The wind current took an upward turn and the scent of the Kurosaki home lifted from her lavender sweater and into her senses. Yuzu had been kind enough to wash her laundry. And pack the pocky in her pocket. And sew a tiny strawberry-shaped "good luck charm" on the inside of her collar that she would never let Ichigo see.

"What would you think if someone old enough to be your great grandmother fell in love with you?"

The Kuchiki didn't bother to turn and look when she heard gagging noises to her left. She presumed that it was probably Ichigo choking on three different sticks of pocky that he'd inhaled from shock.

"What? Love?! What's this, all of the sudden?"

"It's a question, idiot, and it would do you best to answer."

She glanced to the left. He'd pulled out the sticks and was staring at them intensely. He was unsuccessful in melting them with his mind.

"What would I think? Geez... What a weird question." Ichigo rubbed the back of his head and dropped the deadly pocky trio. "Well, I guess... it would depend on the person."

"Oh?"

"Yeah. Like..." Ichigo scratched at his cheek. "It would be really weird if a human granny loved me."

She caught it. Oh, she caught it.

"... Human?"

She'd caught it, and her interest was piqued.

"That's what I said, isn't it?"

She'd caught it and he knew. His face, orangepinkyellow from the setting sun was hidden behind an embarrassed hand as he looked away.

"So... what if it wasn't human?"

"Nel's nearly an infant," he grumbled. The wind tousled his hair and sleeves and shoved their essence in her face as if to say, 'Smell me, I'm delicious!' And they wouldn't be lying. He must have used Yuzu's fruity shampoo by accident. Could the day BE any more strawberry-coated?

"I'm not talking about Nel."

The scrape of denim on concrete is loud in his ears and he can tell that she used Yuzu's shampoo too, if not more intentionally than he had. Her shrimpy shoulder was warm.

He hated admitting when it was time to forfeit.

"You already live in my closet, Granny. What more do you want?"

Her cheek on his shoulder wasn't bad, either.

"Pocky daily would be nice."

What a tease. She could have told him that sticking another four sticks in his gob would end badly.

"Then you should have confessed to Yuzu, midget."

-fin-

Heh. Finally. Some hardcore IchiRuki fluff. (You know this is as sugary as they get. Don't deny it.) It's short. Like Rukia. -snickersnicker-
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-Bya