"No."

"Yes."

"No freakin' way."

"Shut up idiot, we're going." Rukia kicked Ichigo in the shin. Hard. Enough to make him agree to go to, according to Rukia, to "a social event", according to Ichigo, a waste of time, and according to normal people, a party.

"Fine."

Ishida and Orihime watched a somewhat abnormal fight between the two very abnormal shinigamis. Somewhat normal because they were fighting…not normal because it ended so quickly. They had been a little quiet lately…

"Shit. How the hell did she manage this? Geez, she fought a freaking Espada!!" Ichigo yelled.

"Just be grateful she'll be fine, thanks to Orihime. Besides, she'll be saying the same thing about you-have you seen yourself lately?" Renji eyed Ichigo, sensing his reiatsu fluctuate regularly, but he was definitely not prepared for the surge of reiatsu that came from Ichigo a split second later.

"GRATEFUL? YOU FUCKING WANT ME TO BE GRATEFUL FOR THIS? SHE'S PRETTY MUCH DEAD! DAMN THAT SELFISH BITCH! AND YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE? SHE DOESN'T EVEN CARE—"

"HEY SHUT UP I'M GONNA HAVE TO LISTEN TO THE BOTH OF YOU SAY THIS SO CUT ME SOME FREAKING SLACK OK??" Renji used shunpo to get him away from the strawberry. "Yup, definitely gonna have to listen to this again…"

"What the hell do you mean?? HE DOESN'T CARE?"

Renji looked at the door, wishing he could be on the other side of it and very far away. He watched Rukia fume, (even with her many cuts and bruises and broken stuff). "You know, he did kind of care that you were pretty much…you know…dead, so h—"

"ME?? I DON'T FREAKING GIVE A DAMN THAT I WAS DEAD! HE WAS ALMOST DEAD! HOW THE HELL DID HE MANAGE TO FIGHT A FREAKIN ESPADA AND NOT DIE? WHAT IF HE DIED?? DAMN THAT SELFISH BASTARD! AND YOU KNOW I BET HE DOESN'T EVEN CARE—"

"Shut up already. This is the second time I've had to listen to this crap so will the both of you leave me ALONE!" Renji stormed out, worn out from taking on both Ichigo and Rukia within the same week…same year, for that matter.

"I'm tired of this." Ishida continued waiting with Orihime at the Kurosakis' home for Rukia and Ichigo to get ready to leave for the party in Soul Society. Another party Matsumoto was throwing for the sake of getting drunk and having fun. "They haven't been the same since we got back from Hueco Mundo. They're obviously mad at each other. They should really stop this childish game soon."

"Me too." The normally happy Orihime agreed. She, too had been a bit down after coming back from Hueco Mundo. "I'm just glad I got over Ichigo so quickly," she thought.

"I'm glad you're okay, Orihime." A weak, wounded Ichigo looked at Orihime's happy, somewhat worried face. She hugged Ichigo.

"Thank—"

"Ichigo!" Renji interrupted. "Rukia's dying! Get Orihime over here to save her n—"

"WHAT?" Ichigo, even so weak, shunpo-ed away from Orihime to see Rukia, cursing under his breath.

"Thank you," Orihime finished. She pictured Ichigo's horrified face when Renji had yelled to him and remembered the way he left her so quickly for Rukia, and the way Rukia always looked at Ichigo "He really loves her, doesn't he?" she thought. A tear fell from her eye and she looked up to see Ishida walking toward her.

"Are you ok, Inoue?" Ishida's usually calm face showed a hint of worry.

"No...I'm ok, Ishida. Thank you." She paused and wiped her tears away. "It's just…they really love each other don't they?" She felt more tears forming in her eyes.

"I supposed they do." He walked over to Orihime and gave her an awkward hug. (Ishida was obviously inexperienced in hug-giving.)

"Let's get this over with." Ichigo walked downstairs, followed by Rukia.

There were many awkward silences on their way to Urahara's shop, in between the awkward talks about the weather. A very awkward, silent, uneventful journey to Soul Society.

The awkwardness (mostly) ended when they reached the "social event". (Matsumoto only called it that so regular people would go without worrying about all the drunk people that would be there, even though everyone knew.) Ishida and Orihime left Ichigo and Rukia and went to enjoy the party and each other's company.

Rukia and Ichigo stood there, each mad at each other but not showing it. Rukia, a true Kuchiki, kept her same expressionless expression that no one could see through, except maybe the strawberry standing next to her…Ichigo, on the other hand, held his same scowl as always, same as in his head—except in his head, he was scowling at Rukia.

"Thank god Chad couldn't come…it would've been even more awkward," thought Rukia.

They both started walking across the room, very randomly, just so that there was something to do other than be awkward.

"This is lame." Ichigo scowled.

"Well, at least Rangiku tries to be nice and polite." Rukia glared back, her almost permanent Kuchiki expression gone for a split second.

"Yeah, some people just have a hard time doing that, I guess." Ichigo's glare was almost as intense as Rukia's.

"I think some people just have a hard time appreciating and accepting." Both were on the verge of cracking. What Ichigo said next did it for her.

"I completely agree." She cracked.

"DO NOT tell me I'm not appreciative. At least I'm not a SELFISH BASTARD. You have NO right to tell me—" Then Ichigo cracked. Each shinigami's reiatsu started to fluctuate.

"OH now I'M the SELFISH ONE. WELL I WOULDN'T BE TALKING YOU MIDGET! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW FREAKIN' SELFISH YOU ARE?! WELL LET ME TELL YOU—" Their pent up anger at each other started to spill out.

"I'M SELFISH? WELL LET ME TELL YOU HOW SELFISH YOU ARE!" The other shinigami started to take notice of the two stubborn people in the middle of the room. "YOU ARE SOOO SELFISH! YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ANYTHING! YOU DISRESPECTFUL BASTARD! YOU DIDN'T EVEN LISTEN TO ME WHEN I TRIED TO HELP YOU! BUT NO YOU JUST HAD TO COME TO SOUL SOCIETY TO COME SAVE ME. OH, YEAH! OF COURSE IT WAS A FAVOR! YOU JUST WANTED TO BE ARROGANT AND SHOW OFF THAT YOU COULD FIGHT AND LET'S NOT FORGET HURT ME! A—"

"I WANTED TO HURT YOU?! YOU WANTED TO HURT ME! NOT EVEN PUTTING UP A SMALL FIGHT WHEN RENJI AND BYAKUYA CAME TO GET YOU? NOTHING?! NOT EVEN A COUPLE WORDS?! THEN OH—DON'T COME AFTER TO ME, ICHIGO! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO? LET YOU DIE BECAUSE OF ME?! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT YOU FUCKIN' PUT ME THROUGH??"

"WHAT I PUT YOU THROUGH?! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH MY HEAD WHEN I FOUND OUT THE SHIT YOU WERE GOING THROUGH TO FIGHT THE ENTIRE SOUL SOCIETY FOR ME? WELL LET ME TELL YOU—"

"I DON'T FREAKIN' WANNA HEAR IT! YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT THE FACT THAT I SAVED YOU—"

"I DON'T CARE?? OF COURSE I CARE! IF I DIDN'T CARE I WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN SO FUCKING WORRIED! DO YOU KNOW WHY I TOLD YOU NOT TO COME AFTER ME?! DO YOU?? NO, OF COURSE YOU DON'T BECAUSE YOU'RE TOO FUCKING SELF ABSORBED!! I TOLD YOU SO THAT YOU WOULDN'T HURT ME! I WAS HURT EVERY SINGLE TIME I HEARD NEWS ABOUT YOU GETTING HURT!!" Byakuya, who had, yes, come to a party, raised has eyebrows at his sister's language. No not, the swearing. I was what she was saying. "Dammit. I should have seen this coming. That bastard ryoka." He thought.

Ichigo continued. "YOU WERE WORRIED?? I WAS WORRIED! THEN YOU WENT AND GOT YOURSELF KILLED BY SOME ASSHOLE ESPADA—"

"I DID?? YOU DID!! DO YOU KNOW WHAT I'VE SACRIFICED FOR YOU??"

"YEAH YOU ALMOST GOT EXECUTED AND I TEMPORARILY TOOK YOUR POWERS BUT GEEZ I SAID SORRY—"

"YOU THINK I CARE ABOUT THAT?? I SACRIFICED MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER SACRIFICE FOR ME! I FREAKIN' HAVE TO WATCH YOU FIGHT OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND ALMOST DIE! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH IT HURTS?!"

"YOU SACRIFICED?? I SACRIFICED! I WATCH YOU FIGHT TOO! THAT HURTS LIKE HELL YOU KNOW!!"

"WELL YOU'RE TOO STUPID TO NOTICE ANYTHING STRAWBERRY, LIKE WHEN YOU CAN'T WATCH YOUR BACK! OR LIKE THE FACT THAT I THINK I'M IN LOVE WITH YOU!"

"YEAH RIGHT! YOU DIDN'T EVEN NOTICE THAT! YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE YOU DIDN'T NOTICE? THE FACT THAT I THINK I FUCKING FELL IN LOVE WITH YOU TOO, MIDGET!"

"YOU DIDN'T NOTICE EITHER DID YOU??"

"WELL YOU DIDN'T EITHER!"

"MIDGET!"

"STRAWBERRY"

"DWARF!"

"IDIOT!"

Needless to say, they were being pretty oblivious, due to the fact that they had unleashed a couple weeks of pent up anger at each other. There was an awkward silence in the room as they stalked away from each other, leaving a huge gap in the crowded room, which was by now deadly silent, except for…

"Stupid, idiot, strawberry, stubborn idiot. Saying I'm selfish…who the hell does he think he is?" Rukia failed to notice that she had stalked right past her brother. "She continued to mutter under her breath, much like Ichigo…

"Stupid, bitchy, self-centered, stubborn midget. Saying I'm selfish geez. Who the hell does she think she is?" Ichigo stalked past all the Captains except Byakuya on the other side of the room.

They both continued to mutter.

"Selfish idiot…thinks just 'cause he loves me he can do whatever he wants for me and die and—"

"Selfish bitch…thinks just 'cause she loves me she can do whatever she wants to me and die and—"

They both paused.

"WELL YOU'RE TOO STUPID TO NOTICE ANYTHING STRAWBERRY, LIKE WHEN YOU CAN'T WATCH YOUR BACK! OR LIKE THE FACT THAT I THINK I'M IN LOVE WITH YOU!"

"YEAH RIGHT! YOU DIDN'T EVEN NOTICE THAT! YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE YOU DIDN'T NOTICE? THE FACT THAT I THINK I FUCKING FELL IN LOVE WITH YOU TOO, MIDGET!"

Ichigo turned slightly pink. "Wait—"

…so did Rukia. "—a second…"

They both replayed their conversation…well, yeah ok, yelling match, again.

"He loves me... that bastard…"

"That bitch loves me…"

"Wait. Shit."

"Oh fuck."

"I confessed to the strawberry."

"I told the midget."

They both swore over and over again loudly. Everyone inside maintained an awkward silence as they heard each shinigami "think" out loud. "Everyone" included all the captains and vice captains…etc.

They both stalked back into the room from opposite sides, both redder than Ichigo's hair.

"Screw this."

"Oh crap. I don't even care."

They both stalked toward each other and kissed. That's it. In front of all the shinigami. In front of Rukia's now very upset brother. In front of everybody. Including Ichigo's father.