Author's Note: Passion is my first attempt at a story of its nature. Multi-chaptered but not terribly long, mostly serious but sometimes a little silly, with a level of romance that will hopefully appease my fellow IchiRuki fans without being obscenely mushy and clichéd. Because I've already been there… (See my story I Lied, Kissing is Wonderful if you don't know what I'm talking about). This story should only be about seven chapters long, and the chapters will be pretty short. I'll never demand a certain number of reviews before posting the next chapter, but reviews are always welcome, and sometimes they absolutely make my day. Let me know what I've done well or if anything needs work. This story is Rated T for some language and sensuality.

Disclaimer: Bleach, and all related characters, plot ideas, locations, abilities, (ect.) are the property Tite Kubo and affiliates. I claim no rights to any copyrighted works. I certify that my ideas are all original. Any similarity to actual people, locations, events, books, anime, manga, movies, other works of fanfiction (ect.) are entirely coincidental.


Chapter I – Bathroom Etiquette

Ichigo supposed that it couldn't be helped. It was only natural… at least for them. After all, their entire relationship was built off of intense emotion. When they had first met, he had been scared out of his mind that his family was going to be killed, and he was furious at that damn Hollow for putting his loved ones in danger. When they fought Hollows together, it was an adrenaline rush. When he had followed her to Soul Society to save her from execution, it had been the need to see her alive, coupled with the knowledge that she would be dead without his help, that drove him to become stronger.

Not many people had that kind of relationship. It seemed that everything about them, everything between them, was passionate. That was who they were when they were on their own, but when they were together, they fueled each other and that intensity grew. Even when they weren't in a life or death situation, they were constantly arguing with each other. It seemed to Ichigo that he and Rukia were incapable of sharing a dull relationship. There needed to be some kind of outlet for the intensity that built between them; otherwise, one or both of them would break. It was only natural…

At the very least, this was what Ichigo tried to tell himself now, because it was the only way his mind could rationalize the flood of emotions and thoughts, thoughts he knew he should not be entertaining, that were currently tearing him apart.

Honestly, it wasn't his fault. She should have locked the door. Hell, she should have at least closed the door. At the Kurosaki residence, if the door to the bathroom was open, it was generally assumed to be vacant. If you were inside and somebody walked in on you because you left the door open, too bad. It was your own fault. Of course, Rukia had never been told this explicitly, but it should certainly fall under the category of common sense. If you are going to do something private in a room, you close the door. Simple. Only an idiot wouldn't get that.

So now Ichigo felt that she had no right to glare at him for walking in on her. That glare clearly indicated that the intensity that always existed between them was beginning to break out on Rukia's side in the form of anger. A fight seemed inevitable.

"Ichigo! What the hell! Have a little respect for people's privacy, why don't you?" He couldn't really hear her words. And even though his eyes were fixed diligently on her own, matching that violet glare with his usual scowl, even though her eyes were what he was looking at, they weren't what he was seeing.

No, what Ichigo saw was the leg that she was in the process of shaving. From what he could tell, she was more or less finished, because the leg looked smooth and bare, the length of it propped up on the edge of the tub, exposing much more of Rukia's thigh than Ichigo had ever seen before.

Rukia set the razor on the sink, that one beautifully curved leg still capturing Ichigo's attention. "Are you deaf? Get out, idiot!"

It was not so simple. Under normal circumstances, one of two things would have happened. Either Ichigo would have begun arguing back with Rukia about her apparent inability to shut the bathroom door, the fight escalating until she physically forced him from the room, most likely with a well placed kick to the stomach, or Ichigo would have stormed out in embarrassment, waited until she came out, and then begun the fight. Either case would have served as an acceptable outlet for the passionate energy that seemed always to grow between the two of them. These circumstances, however, were anything but normal. The unwanted thoughts that plagued Ichigo's mind were drowning out reason, rationality, heck, even the usual impulsive necessity of argument.

So when Ichigo failed to yell at Rukia, failed to retreat from the room, and instead stepped forward, a hand reaching out to grasp the leg that provoked such unanticipated thoughts, he knew it couldn't be helped.

After all, he needed an outlet for their passion as well as she did.

"Ichigo! What are you mmph!" His mouth closed over hers, effectively shutting her up. After that, for just a moment, Ichigo felt a little lost. He had never kissed a girl before. His usual methods of coping with the passion that Rukia instilled in him included fighting with Hollows, arguing with her, and training incessantly, but mindlessly assailing the lips of a beautiful girl… that was a new coping mechanism for Ichigo.

Fortunately, it seemed that his body was preconditioned to respond in a certain way when his lips met those of a woman. Or perhaps his body, desperately craving a release for the intensity it housed, was simply figuring out the best way to accomplish this, given his current situation. It hardly mattered. As Ichigo ran his hand along the smooth skin of Rukia's thigh, eliciting an enticing moan from the Shinigami, his lips and tongue worked on their own, moving as they deemed fit to best relieve the pressure of an intensity that most normal people never felt. Because most normal people had never met Rukia.

But she would not stand for that. It made sense. Rukia was not simply an outlet for his passion, but he was an outlet for hers as well. And if she wasn't going to be able to argue with him, as the hand squeezing her thigh insisted, then she would simply have to improvise and devise a new way to cleanse herself of all the pent-up energy.

That was Ichigo's conclusion, at least, when her arms wound around his neck, her fingers burrowing into his hair, and she pressed her mouth roughly back against his. With a strength that a girl of her diminutive stature should not possess, she pressed Ichigo back against the bathroom door, kissing him with the passion of one who has stood face to face death, who has fought demons and won, and who lives each day in this world as if it could be her last.

As the bathroom door closed behind him with a quiet click, Ichigo almost laughed.


Author's Note: And thus it begins. Feel free to review, because reviews are lovely. This is about the shortest any of the chapters will be, but they won't get too much longer than this. Expect the next chapter to be up in a week at the absolute latest. Until then…