sometimes Dreams become Reality

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Rukia ran down the hallway, the sound her sandals against the wood floor echoing against the walls. Excitement glittered in her eyes as she clutched the Chappy gift Byakuya had brought back for her after his trip to the real world. Renji was going to be so jealous! She stopped abruptly before a familiar door and quickly slid it open. "Renji! I-"

She halted in her tracks again and stared at her friend who was fast asleep on his pallet. A blanket was tossed over his hips, his arms and legs sprawled. She smirked at the red pineapple pajama bottoms she'd gotten him on his birthday, but bit her lip at his broad, bare chest before finally rolling her eyes at his red hair still tied up in that ridiculous style.

"Baka," she muttered. What a lazy-ass, sleeping the day away. She shut the door behind her and crept towards him with an evil expression, intent on waking him up as jarringly as possible.

Except…the closer she got the more she got distracted. She found herself dropping onto the edge of his pallet, staring at his tattooed chest. He was kind of ridiculous, with his eyebrow tattoos and his silly hair and his goofy joking, but at the same time…so beautiful...

Her hand found itself hovering above his chest. His heart was as big as it was strong. She'd never known someone with such determination to never give up no matter what. No matter how many times he failed, he always got back on his feet. And he was one of the few people that could make her smile at the worst of times.

She smiled a little. He was the only one who truly appreciated the genius of her artistic talents.

Her fingers dusted over the thick black designs. He was so proud… a natural-born leader, but he wasn't too good for anyone. Everyone loved him because he accepted everyone, no matter who they were or where they came from. Especially her…no matter what, he had always been so much a part of her life and who she was.

She studied his peaceful face. It was so rare to see him like this. He was always so passionate and full of life, always moving, always doing. It was nice. It was…

She gasped and yanked her hand away. Those old feelings were coming back. Again. She shook her short black hair. No matter what she couldn't allow her heart to get involved with him again. Had it learned nothing? He was… He was too high above her…

Rukia sighed and for some reason her body scooted in closer until she could feel his heat radiating against her thighs. She wondered why he always wore his hair like that. It was so funny looking. What would it look like down? How long was it…?

A few nervous glances at the closed door later, tentative fingers reached up and tugged gently at his hair tie. The string came undone with surprising ease and violet eyes widened at the beautiful hair that splayed over his pillow. Before she could stop her hand, her fingers smoothed over the silky strands. God, he was gorgeous.

Watching him sleep like this…it was reminding her of what Orihime had told her about her and Ichigo. Maybe…as her thoughts whirled around in her head, her body moved on its own and leaned towards him. What was she doing? She couldn't do this. She didn't think she'd be stealing his first kiss as she was fairly certain he'd dated before – or at least that bitch had gone around bragging about it not long after she joined the Kuchikis – but still…

Suddenly his chest rose high when he took in a deep breath and made a groaning sound, his eyes snapping open. Rukia froze. Shit. She was in such deep shit!

To her further shock, his large hand reached up to cradle her cheek, his thumb stroking her skin. "Rukia."

"Renji…I…uh…" She trailed off as his hand moved to the back of her head, burying his fingers in her hair, tugging gently to bring her closer…and she let herself be pulled down.

"Rukia…" he repeated. And suddenly her lips were on his. Her eyelids slid closed as she melted into the warm kiss, her small hand sliding up to grip his broad shoulder. His other arm slid around her waist, pressing his hand into her back to hold her close against him. She could feel his hard muscles through her uniform and dared to move her hand to feel his chest…his abs…

He moaned as her touch moved lower and he opened his mouth, teasing her lips with his tongue. She let out a small noise of surprise but immediately responded by tangling her tongue with his. Almost without thinking, she shifted and straddled his waist, deepening the kiss and pressing her body fully against him.

She gasped when she felt the tell-tale sign of his desire against her slender thigh, but didn't stop. Couldn't. This moment was years – decades in the making. She wouldn't let anything ruin it or stop it. His hand stroking her back melted her further into him.

Suddenly she found herself being rolled onto her back, the silky red curtain falling around her head before his mouth devoured hers again. After kissing her breathless, his lips moved to her chin, trailing kisses down her neck as his large hand spanned over her flat stomach, his fingers teasing the bottom of her breasts, still covered by her black uniform.

Rukia gasped and instinctively arched her back, but quickly moved her hands to push on his shoulders gently. She didn't want the moment to stop, but she didn't want to go too fast either.

"Renji?"

At her voice he jerked and nearly tumbled on top of her before righting himself with his hands on either side of her head, staring down at her in the dim light with wide eyes. "Rukia?!"

She frowned at his sudden exclamation. "What is it?"

"Wh-What are you doing here?!"

Rukia blinked. "What am I… You mean you didn't know it was me that you were just kissing?!" Her anger flared sharply and she slammed her hands against his chest sending him flying off of her. "You jerk! You idiot!" She scrambled to her feet, tugging hard at her clothes to straighten out the wrinkles he'd caused. Oh, she could murder him. That ass! Who the hell did he think she was? She whirled around to glare poison-tipped darts at the stunned man on the floor. That was a very good question, actually. "Who the hell did you think I was?!"

Renji opened and closed his mouth but nothing was coming out.

"Was it that floozy from back in the academy that you dated?"

"Huh? I-"

"Probably someone with big breasts and long legs, ne?"

"What-"

She turned on her heel to march out of his room, but a heavy hand on her shoulder stopped her.

"Shut up and hold still for a second, will ya?"

Rukia bared her teeth at the shudder that went through her body from his voice so close to her ear. "Let me go."

"No. First of all, who did I date at the academy?"

"Why do you need me to tell you? I don't remember her name. She bragged about it all the time after we…after I…after the adoption."

"Oh. Her. My stalker."

"Your what?"

"We never dated. She was constantly following me. Didn't know she was blabbing lies though."

"So you never…"

"No. There's-"

"Well it doesn't matter!" she interrupted, trying to wrench her shoulder from his firm hold. "Let me go!"

"What are you doing here?"

"I…I…" What was she doing here? For kissing? No! Definitely not that! Suddenly her Chappy appeared in front of her face and she finally turned to face him when he loosened his grip, her eyes shining again. "Chappy! I wanted to show you…to…show you…" She found herself short of breath, staring up at the man that towered over her. His long, crimson hair spilling over his big shoulders.

"Show me the Chappy?"

Rukia narrowed her violet eyes at him. How dare his voice be so heart-meltingly deep. "Yes. So now you've seen it and now I'll go." She reached out to snatch the bunny away, but his long arm raised it high above her.

"Why did you let me kiss you?"

"Why? I…You… Why did you kiss me in the first place?!" she demanded.

"I thought I was still dreaming."

To her horror she felt her chin tremble and she quickly set her jaw to stop it. "Well I'm sorry I wasn't your dream girl."

"What the hell are you talking about? You are my dream girl!"

"Well I-" She stopped and her eyes grew big at the man intensely staring down at her. "What? What did you say?"

He growled and rolled his eyes, lowering the hand that still clutched her plushie. "Don't make me repeat it, Rukia."

"You…" She stared at him for a moment and then scowled and jammed her finger into his chest repeatedly. "You better repeat it! I've waited for forty damn years for you so you better damn well repeat it you bastard!"

Renji scowled and gripped her small wrist in his fist, his voice roaring in the small room. "And what the fuck do you think I've been doing all this time? Twiddling my thumbs?! I've been working to get to you! I graduated to get to you!" He pressed his hand to the tattoos on his chest. "Every mark on my body was made for you. I worked my ass off to become lieutenant to get to you! And I'm still gonna work my ass my off to get captain for you! Everything is for you, Rukia. Everything!"

As she stared up at with her deep violet eyes, his little speech bounced off of her and hit him smack in the face with realization. Shit. He hadn't meant to say all that! He just…well…she just always got him all jumbled up and he didn't know his head from his ass. Renji released his hold and turned his back on her. "Nevermind. I've got a…I got a thing to go to."

"A thing?"

Her soft low voice gripped his heart and squeezed hard. "Yeah, a thing."

"Don't push my away again."

Her tense words made him turn to look at her, stunned at the sheen that threatened her eyes. "What?"

"You always… dammit, you always do this!" She clenched her fists tightly at her sides, shouting her frustration. "You say you've worked to get to me, but I've always been here, Renji! And every time we get close to getting to wherever we're trying to get to you push me away! Like now. Right. Now, Renji. You never, ever retreat from a challenge except for me! And I'm not even a fucking challenge!" She beat her palm against her chest. "I'm right here, you idiot! Right fucking here!"

Renji could only stare at her as her chest rose and fell rapidly, her eyes flashing at him. What was she saying? It…It was like his brain had shut down. She couldn't possibly be right in front of him saying this stuff. After all these years…

He took a step towards her and watched her eyes widened. His hand lifted towards her, reaching…and then pulled it back. It couldn't be that easy. There's no way that what he'd been barking at from a distance for so long could be just an arm stretch away. It almost felt like if he touched her then the mirage would burst and dissipate. She –

"I'm right here, Renji," she whispered softly.

He swallowed and reached out again, this time cupping her cheek in his big hand. She closed her eyes with a sigh and melted into his touch, bringing her hands up to circle around his forearm. Suddenly she felt his hand leave her cheek and massive arms circled around her. She opened her eyes to see him on his knees, his head buried in her stomach. "Renji…" Rukia stroked her hands along his long hair and then dropped to her knees in front of him, placing her hands on his cheeks.

Rukia looked into his dark brown eyes that were filled with so much emotion and knew hers were definitely not reflecting the expression a good member of the Kuchiki family should have. Right now, she was just Rukia. With Renji she always could go back and be just Rukia. "Let's get married."

She didn't know his eyes could get that big. "Huh?"

"Marriage!" She grinned and locked her fingers behind his neck. "Let's do it. It's ridiculous to date or court or whatever humans are doing these days and put off the inevitable. I've loved you for decades so…so let's just go ahead and get married."

"You…did you just say that you love me?"

"Well of course I did, you idiot! What did you think this was all about? I love you, Renji." She let out a short laugh of relief. She'd held these feelings in for so long, always pushing them away, covering them up with a cold façade or her sharp tongue. It felt ridiculously good to get it out in the open. She pushed his hair back behind his ear. She wanted to say it again. "I love you. I really, really love you. I love –"

His anxious mouth cut her off and she eagerly wrapped her arms around his shoulders, kissing him back with everything she had in her small body. He left her lips and pressed his cheek against hers, murmuring into her ear, "I love you, you crazy backwards woman. Marry me?"

She pulled back and frowned even though her eyes were dancing with happiness. "I asked you first."

Renji cocked a tattoo eyebrow at her. "Do you honestly think I'm gonna let you ask Byakuya for my hand?"

Rukia bit back a laugh and pressed her lips against his. "Yeah, I'll marry you."

Being just Rukia was great. So was being Kuchiki Rukia. But being Abarai Rukia – she giggled like a schoolgirl against his lips as he fell back, taking her with him on his chest – would be a hell of an improvement.

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