Random title, random idea, random update, random author.

Well, other than that, I have nothing to say. I just hope some of you (...yeah, hope) would be able to take this as some sort of apology for no updates since November-December till now. I've been extremely busy and it isn't easy to take a breather, so here I am, relaxing before my immunity system goes on a breakdown. Yeah. This oneshot is for Valentine's Day; I might add a sequel to it when White Day comes, but I'll have to see my schedule. Additionally, if this oneshot was not up to your expectations, please forgive me again. It was done in a rush. Thus it is a complete crack fic.

I do not own Bleach or any of its associated characters, plot, all that jazz. However, the plot for this cliche oneshot belongs to me. Watch out for oocness. And with that, I bid you good luck.


Frozen Bruise

A Valentine's Day Special


It had been an all quiet morning - not even dawn, actually - but at two in the crispy morning of Saturday, who could tell?

Yes, it had been an all quiet morning, and it was equally silent in the dim room illuminated by the silhouette of the moon, but that, too, was about to be shrouded by the translucent, grey blanket of clouds encroaching upon it. There wasn't a single star in the sky; all that could be used as some form of light had just been the moonlight alone, and one would have the instant gratification of sneakily reading a favourite novel or attempting to finish all piles of schoolwork in the sly even under that tiny source of light.

Only one person wasn't glad. It was precisely because of the damned, blinding light - to him, it was blinding - that Kurosaki Ichigo could not get a wink of sleep that night. And it certainly did not help, in his current predicament, that Kon was causing some rowdiness despite being squished by the closed edges of the drawer where the cranky substitute shinigami stuck his head in, mumbling a whole string of what sounded to be names of females - whether young or old, or even human, Ichigo did not want to know - and some lame pick-up lines for 'da ladies', which, even any idiot would know, never worked in the reality of powerful, influential and independent beings known as females in modern society. At the very least, they would crack a smile at you and walk off, forgetting about the meeting caused by a random twist of fate just one second after leaving; at women's worst, they slap the sexual harasser. Simple as that.

If there was anything in the world one strawberry could not understand, other than the presence of this thing called fanservice and why Aizen didn't bother combing that annoying streak of hair dangling from his forehead back into his stroked hair, it would be why girls nowadays seemed to be experiencing premature menopause whenever they lay their narrowed eyes on guys.

Ichigo didn't know whether to smirk or scowl underneath the covers of his bed at the thought of Kon going out on a five-minute date with a plush toy of an opposite gender before she totally bitch slaps him. Ohh, the thought of that sounded so tempting.

But at least Kon had someone in mind, or an image of his ideal girlfriend in mind. This orange-haired idiot before you hadn't. And he was losing precious sleep over it, without even knowing that it was the cause. Such a pitiful teenager.

However the obligation of feeling sorry for this simple-minded adolescent would not last you one minute. And trust me on that; for when he decided to vent his unknown frustrations out on a mini army of hollows threatening the town, his life took a drastically dramatic turn which the rivers of fate had planned to drown him with.


They were outside at the door, listening. It was three in the morning.

It started out when Matsumoto, clad in a cherry blossom nightgown larger than what she usually wore and her silky golden hair pinned up in a loose ponytail, dragged herself out of her room for the washroom. The moment she returned and opened the door, a soft bump knocked against her wall. Being the witty cat she was, the mischievous blonde tip-toed over to Ichigo's room which was conveniently near hers - she shared a room with Rukia and Karin - and opened her ear as she placed it on the door.

'What the hell--stop fidgeting.'

'Make me.'

She stopped a gasp escaping, mentally squealing when she recognised whose voice it had been, albeit it sounded slightly different from usual.

Renji was pulled out of his bed to listen to the next scene unfolding in the room.

'I'm serious, Toushirou. Stay put, dammit.'

There was a pause, which was suspected to have been the time the white-haired prodigy decided to use for an adorable frown. 'No way. It hurts. I'm not gonna sit still and let you do it to me. I'm not an idiot like someone in this room.'

'Hey, is that supposed to mean something?'

'...Maybe.'

Stunned out of their wits, the two lieutenants continued hearing on, unable to move from their stiff positions to get the others around.

'It won't hurt, I promise you. I swear, it'll be over and done with in a flash.'

'What makes you think I'll believe you?'

Pause.

'Good question.'

Certain thoughts which shouldn't be thought of started forming in the corners of their dirty minds.

'H-hey, who gave you permission to move around!?'

'And why would you want me to stay still anyway?'

'Because if you don't, I can't finish what I'm supposed to do as a--'

Squish. Sizzle. Squeak.

'...Oh crud.'

'Damn you, do you have a tinkling of how much that gel thing hurts when it touches? Get away from me.'

The snickering from the two figures squatting outside the door distracted not the unlikely pairing inside that room - oh what could they be doing in there, they wondered - but stirred a panda-eyed Rukia awake, stepping out into the doorway as silently as possible with an arm on her waist and her other arm clinging onto a humongous Chappy plush toy of about half her own size. Without being allowed to make a single sound, Renji and Matsumoto instantaneously covered her mouth and coerced her into playing the dirty mind game by heaving her towards the door, pressing her ear on it. The next conversation gave rise to the scarlet shading of the tip of her ears and the widening of her crystal, violet eyes.

'Gross, I had no idea it was this disgusting! It's worse than glue.'

'That's why I told you to get the hell away from me. How would I know if that thing's contagious?'

'As I told you, Toushirou, it's completely safe...I think.'

'How safe can it be?'

'...'

'Geez... So long as that thing is still around, I'm not going to listen to whatever you say.'

'Is it that bad? I've done this thing so many times before and no one complained. Not even that fat ass Renji.'

Both pairs of eyes glanced straight at the flushing redhead who shook his head and vigorously waved his hands in protest. He had no recollection of doing that with Ichigo, and even if something sparked between the both of them, it wouldn't change the fact that they are the best of comrades and they would practice things safe...wait, what was he thinking about? He certainly did not want to be a third party to his friend and superior; the very thought of it sounded wrong to his ears.

'Oi, I told you to get away from me.'

'I had no idea you were such a brat... C'mon, it really won't hurt. Now if you would just stay still--'

'...What do you think you're doing? Oof, get off me, you're as heavy as lead.'

'Oh, like that would chase me away. I'm so scared. Now, stop moving. Once I take care of this, I'll bring you to a hospital--'

'Why didn't you do that in the first place!? And I told you to stop squirting at me with that disgusting liquid!'

'You're not only a brat, you're a really noisy one at that. Is this how you usually react when something like this happens? Because if you do, I pity the people before me.'

'You're spouting nonsense. Now get out of my sight!'

'Sheesh, it's times like this when I feel this strong urge to gag and tie you up a string and pull you up like a flag.'

'Go away!'

In this moment of silence, all three shinigami leaned in closer. What erupted from inside was, initially, a soft groan and a hiss, before it evolved into a pack of scoldings mainly from Ichigo and unrestrained yelps coming from the presently vulnerable fragment of crystalline ice, breaking under the weight of the orange-haired strawberry attempting to make the boldest move ever in the history of Soul Society. The three of them suddenly felt so honoured of having the privilege to witness, or listen, this glorifying moment...

'K...Kurosaki...ugh...g-get off--uughn...'

'Pant...you...you little...pant...'

'Damn, it...it bloody...' Hitsugaya evidently flinched and hissed once more.

'Noisy brat....' Ichigo coughed, the gentle smearing of some liquid substance over the surface of someone's skin dyed of pallid hue creaking out a soft melody ringing. 'Hurts, huh...can't be helped.....so I'll just....pant...I'll just try to make it not as painful...'

Crack.

'...Shit. I sprained my back.'

'So we're stuck like this!?'

'I guess so. Must've happened when you kicked me in the crotch and elbowed my back. Now I can't feel my spine.'

'Weak, insufferable, obnoxious--gnh, stop leaning on me! It's hurting enough as it is!'

To the utter pleasure of the two females from the Shinigami Women Association, they captured this historic moment by using a recording device known as a voice recorder in the human world, bought conveniently at a cheap price from the most well-known pervert around Urahara Kisuke, and Matsumoto especially began fantasizing all possibilities of what could happen should they broadcast the good news to the rest of Seireitei. Renji retreated back to his room; he would've had stayed a bit longer if not for the fact that Rukia and Rangiku were behaving quite oddly from the point of time where they fished out the tape recorder, blood rapidly streaming to their cheeks.

'Oh gawd, this feels heavenly weird.'

'That doesn't make sense. Now move your dirty hands off me. Or else.'

'Geez, you may have physical evidence of being a guy, but you sure have emotional evidence of being a girl.'

'Say that again, and I'll freeze your ass.'

Squish. Sizzle. Squeak.

'...I've told you a million times to get that slime away for me. It's your fault I'm covered in this disgusting thing.'

'How am I supposed to know I had that much with me?'

'Because it's yours.'

'And what business of it is mine? What do you want me to do about it?'

Unsettling silence.

'Control it.'

The whole of that following day, Rukia and Matsumoto refused to come out from their rooms, burying their faces with the fluffy pillows, half-asleep throughout. No one believed Renji when he claimed to have seen the dustbin full of used tissue paper. What it had been used for, not even the redhead knew.


"...You do realise that you'll have to explain everything to Matsumoto and Kuchiki once this fiasco is over."

"Yeah, I know. Hey, you're finally back to normal? This sounds more like the usual you. Not like that...not-as-usual you a few minutes back. And not like that extremely unusual you hours ago."

Grumble.

"But next time you get some sort of reaction to food, you'd better warn me beforehand. I don't ever want to face that version of you again. What a nightmare."

"For the last time, it was your fault for shoving the chocolate in my face."

"You had every right to reject them!"

"I did. But you ignored it and stuffed a piece in."

"It was for your own benefit... You were practically throwing a tantrum when I saved your pretty ass from those hollows. I heard from Rangiku-san that you loved snacking on sweet stuff so I thought you would enjoy the chocolate and forget about your so-called humiliation of being rescued by me, but this...?"

"Precisely because of that. I had no problem before you came along."

"Goodness, you're such a stubborn brat. It wouldn't hurt to give you a treat for your efforts; besides, that bad arm of yours was bleeding like hell. You have no idea how hard it was to pry your zanpakutou off your arm without severing the tendons even further, it's not my damn fault I missed and cut something that almost made you pass out from blood loss. What else could I do then? All I had with me then was the chocolate since we, uh, technically crashed into a chocolate shop...and I thought it would help keep you awake since you were complaining about the blurred vision."

"Tch. It blurred only because you knocked my head onto the door!"

Pause.

"Okay, fine, it's my fault. But you should've had at least told me what you're allergic to!"

"Reactive, Kurosaki, reactive. It's different from human allergies. Seriously, I'm tired of explaining to you..."

"At least now I know. It's an improvement. But seriously, I had no idea that by eating certain foodstuff, shinigami can revert back to their children selves... So in your case, it's chocola--"

"Actually, it's anything with high sugar content. Besides that, we're going out of topic. Now think of a way to get us out of this mess."

"What better way is there other than to go to Urahara and--"

"And for the last last time, we are not going to that man's shop."

"Fine, fine, be that way..."

Shift. Stumble. Crack.

"......That was my arm, you bumbling idiot."

"My bad, is the wound bleeding again?"

Turning away with a scowl, Hitsugaya bit his lower lip as he felt blood draining from his wound on his right arm, seeping onto Ichigo's clothes. His face, coloured with bruises and lined with dried cuts, contorted into a jerking flinch; he lost his voice to speak.

"Never mind. I think I got the answer."

The pitiful taichou being squashed beneath the weight of one lone strawberry sighed, rolling his eyes.

"So how do you propose we wash this antiseptic off us?"

"Simple, we wash it off. You just answered your own question."

"Har har, very funny. As if we can even move to the bathroom like this. I really don't understand why the hell this happened."

"And I don't remember."

"....Right, I guess it's better that you don't."

Hitsugaya scoffed, "It certainly is."


Despite the many explanations the pair gave to the traumatised Renji and overly excited Rukia and Matsumoto, the three of them could not help but doubt the words of their superior and their close comrade, for whenever Matsumoto manages to get close to her taichou during working hours, she could not deny the presence of that patch of a mixed red and black at the back of his neck. Sometimes, she wondered, if Hitsugaya-taichou actually even noticed that. And sometimes, she wondered, if Ichigo really knew what he was doing back then.