Of Peppermint Cupcakes


It was Christmas morning and he was stuck in a coffee shop full of couples. He felt so out of place, sitting alone. Granted he was waiting for someone, it was still strange to be sitting by himself. He felt so...so...isolated.

Rukia was supposed to have shown up over an hour ago, and he wasn't quite sure why he was still waiting. But he supposed the cupcake sitting in front of him was reason enough. Especially considering it was chocolate with peppermint icing, it was totally worth it. This cupcake was delicious.

Unbeknownst to the orange haired teen, someone was watching him from across the shop. He was sitting in one of the armchairs near the window, feet propped up on the table. His black jeans and coat making him seem much paler than he was. Inverted eyes stared at the lonesome teen from beneath snow white hair.

The teen was obviously waiting for someone, but it seemed like he had been there for quite some time. He was rather cute, sitting in his chair, quietly eating his cupcake, even with that disappointed look on his face. Maybe he ought to tell him...it was better than sitting in the corner watching him. That made him look like a stalker, which he was not, and he didn't really need anyone thinking he was either.

Standing up, he quickly made his way over to the table and sat down before the seat could suddenly decide to be occupied by someone else. He didn't move at first, and Shiro had to wonder if he was purposefully ignoring him. The thought bothered him just a bit, squashing the small fantasies concocted in his head as he'd watched him. He'd imagined him being happy and optimistic and as sweet as that cupcake he was nibbling. It was a bad habit of his, making up personalities for strangers, but he couldn't help it. His brain was just wired weird or something, which, as he listened to the Christmas music in the background, made him think of a brain wrapped in Christmas lights. Either way, to have this boy be a jerk would totally crush his little mental image, and that would be rather disappointing, like someone stepping on a candy cane. Damn, he was really wired for Christmas...

When he did notice him however, he jumped a little, blinking, his eyes going wide. That was cute too. When they were all wide and brown, he found himself comparing them to cups of hot chocolate. Wondered what they looked like when they warmed...Which was ridiculous really, and not just because he seemed to keep comparing this guy to food. There was also the small fact that he knew all of nothing about him...except that that cupcake he was eating looked really good.

"Um...can I help you?"

It wasn't said rudely, rather, somewhat confused. Perhaps a little wary. Opening his mouth to reply Shiro was struck with the startling realization that for once in his life, he had nothing to say. Great timing. Really. As the chocolate eyes watched him, the pause turning awkward, he blurted the first thing that came to mind. "That cupcake looks really good!"

It was practically poetic.

"Um...yeah..." he replied, somewhat freaked out by his new companion.

"Shirosaki," he said, sticking his hand out.

Hesitating, the teen took his hand, "Ichigo."

"Well, it's good to meet you Ichigo."

"That's all well and good but...why are you here?"

"You looked lonely. And cute eating your cupcake, I thought you should know. Is that creepy?" Shirosaki asked, talking more to himself than the orange haired teen. "Feel free to stop me if I start rambling."

Ichigo had turned bright red at the 'cute' comment. Here he was waiting for his date and some stranger, (albeit a handsome one) comes up and tells him he's cute. Was it just him, or was that weird? But he couldn't help thinking it was...sweet...in some weird, twisted way. Maybe he was just a sap that way...

"So who are you waiting for?" the albino cut in.

"Just a friend," he says, forcing a smile.

"With a look like that, I doubt it's just a friend," he replied. When Ichigo gave him a surprised look, he quickly added, "I'm just saying." before he could get offended.

"And what would you know about it," Ichigo asked, somewhat hurt. It felt like this complete stranger was rubbing it in and he didn't like it.

Chuckling and shaking his head, Shirosaki replied, "A lot more than you think."

"Sorry," he said, cooling down. "It's just-"

He was abruptly cut off by a wave of the other's hand. "I get it. Sucks though, doesn't it? Getting stood up?"

Ichigo scowled.

"Aw, c'mon, don't do that. It'll ruin that cute little face of yours," he said, smirking when the teen blushed again. This was more fun than it should have been, but that blush looked so damn good on him. Something in him wanted to keep it all to himself. Maybe he was selfish for it, but he didn't really care.

Ichigo on the other hand, was feeling rather comfortable sitting here and talking to Shirosaki. He didn't know why, seeing as he was a complete stranger, but talking to him made the whole 'getting stood up' thing just a little bit better.

As the conversation continued he found himself more and more intrigued by his new friend. He was only a year older than himself and had been stood up and dumped quite a few times. And all because people didn't like the way he looked. Ichigo found it rather fascinating. He also found himself laughing again.

About an hour later Shirosaki suggested, "Hey, why don't we go see a movie?" Ichigo stared at him in surprise. What the hell? Was...was he asking him out on a date? No that couldn't be. And he was about to protest when he said, "Oh, come on. You've been ditched and I've got nowhere to go and nothing to do. What's the worst that could happen?"

Well, he did have a point...and if it got too creepy, he was sure he had a small can of mace in his jacket pocket. So he agreed. Shirosaki smiled and he found himself wanting him to do that more often...gah! This was a complete stranger! He shouldn't be having these thoughts!

Even as they got into the theater he wasn't quite sure what they were seeing. He was still freaking out about how he thought this complete stranger was attractive, and it only got worse as they found seats. They were sitting much closer together and he could feel the heat radiating off Hichigo. It kinda made him want to lean in and just snuggle against him...ok this was getting really creepy. Of course, unbeknownst to him, Shirosaki was having similar thoughts.

As the movie started, neither of them was really paying any attention. They went through the whole movie without ever really knowing what was happening. Even when Ichigo tried his hardest to focus he couldn't help but notice the weirdest things...like how nice Shirosaki smelled...yeah...this was definitely getting creepy.

By the time the movie ended it was already getting late.

"I should probably head home," Ichigo said. It wasn't that he didn't want to go home...he just wanted to spend a little more time with Hichigo at the moment. Would it be creepy to ask to see him again tomorrow? Probably considering it was Christmas...he probably had his own family to celebrate with.

"So, would you mind hanging out again tomorrow?" Shirosaki asked. Apparently it wasn't a creepy question. Or they were both just really twisted that way....

"I'm sure I could find some time to do that," Ichigo replied, smiling. "You got a pen?"

"Um...maybe. Why?"

"How else you gonna find out where and when to meet me?"

Chuckling he pulled a pen out of his pocket. "I'm sure I could figure something out."

"Right. Give me your hand."

Shirosaki watched as Ichigo scrawled his name and number onto his hand, and couldn't help but notice how soft and warm the other's hands were...

"Give me a call about noon tomorrow. We can plan from there."

"Sure."

As they both headed off to their own homes, neither of them could help the giddy feeling they had. Ichigo felt a lot better about getting ditched and Shirosaki was feeling better about being alone on Christmas eve. Neither of them could sleep that night, both eagerly waiting for noon the next day.

Ichigo hadn't even been aware of falling asleep, but found himself being awakened by his little sisters, both excited about all the presents that had been placed under the tree the night before. They were eagerly trying to wake him up so that they could open them.

As soon as he sat up, they both rushed down the stairs, jumping around and waiting for him to follow. Apparently they didn't think he was moving fast enough because they both got behind him and started pushing him to go faster.

When he finally made it downstairs and their father told them they could start, they started tearing through the presents like you wouldn't believe. They squealed every time they opened a box and found something they had wanted. Ichigo and his father sat back and watched, too afraid to go anywhere near them.

Once all the gifts had been opened, the orange-haired teen was finally allowed to shower and get food. All of which he had been deprived of due to his sisters' over-excitement. Glancing at the clock he noticed it was almost eleven thirty and went to grab his phone. Shirosaki, on the other hand, was just waking up.

Picking his phone up from the nightstand, he got up and headed to shower. It was cold outside and there was only half an hour before he had to be awake enough to call Ichigo. He had no clue what the hell they were going to do, but just being able to talk to him would be enough.

But the time he was dressed and fed, it was close enough to noon that he just went ahead and called.

It hadn't even gotten through the first ring when Ichigo picked up. "Hello?"

"Eager are we?"

Flushing he said, "Shut up."

"So what did you have planned?" he asked, chuckling.

"I dunno. I was actually hoping you had a plan."

"The most plan I ever have is making it through the day."

"Well then why don't you meet me at the cafe again and we'll go from there."

"Works for me."

"See you soon," he said, hanging up. Why was his heart beating so fast? And why was he so eager to see Shirosaki?

Was it just him, or had the way Ichigo said see you soon sound like it had implied something more? Maybe he was just reading into it a little too much. Now all he had to do was find where he had tossed his jacket...

As Ichigo waited at the same table, he kept trying to calm the butterflies that were fluttering in his stomach. That was a really creepy mental image and reminded him too much of Loveless...

Walking in, Shirosaki noticed that Ichigo hadn't seen him. Oh, he was going to have fun with this. Managing to maneuver through the small crowd, he snuck up behind the teen and poked him in the side, earning a squeak. It was both funny and cute.

"Don't do that," he said, trying to calm down. "You scared the shit outta me."

Shirosaki laughed. "Aw, but you sound so cute when you squeak."

Ichigo flushed.

"So what's the plan?" he asked, taking a seat.

"I still don't really have one."

They thought for a minute.

"All I got is the park," Shirosaki said.

Ichigo chuckled. "I don't see why not."

"Then to the park it is."

As they walked outside, Ichigo shoved his hands in his pockets and Shirosaki wrapped his scarf around a little tighter. When the park came into view, they could see all the lights hung on the trees and the children on the merry-go-round in the building at the center. The little train was running too.

The farther they walked into the parked, the more Ichigo wondered at the lights hanging from the trees. There were even these large snowflake lights hanging of the streetlights. The two of them talked about everything and nothing, laughing and joking with each other. As it got later and their feet got tired, they found a bench and sat to watch the rides.

"Thanks," Ichigo said quietly.

"For what?"

Shrugging he replied, "This. Talking with me."

"Any time."

When the wind picked up, Ichigo subconsciously moved closer to Shirosaki who had the sudden urge to kiss him...he just looked so cute...without thinking, he gently pulled Ichigo's face up to meet his. He could see the surprise and confusion on his face. Leaning in he gently brushed his lips against Ichigo's.

Completely caught off guard, it took him a minute to realize what was happening. When his brain finally caught up, he found himself kissing back. Why did this feel so right? He could feel Shirosaki's hand cup his cheek and he wrapped his arms around his neck in an attempt to deepen the kiss. The white-haired teen chuckled.

Unfortunately, due to lack of air, they had to pull apart, Ichigo almost sitting on top of Shirosaki. Again he chuckled at the dazed look Ichigo had.

"So," he said, gaining the teen's attention. "I have a question."

"Hm?"

"Will you go out with me?"

Ichigo laughed and replied, "Yes."

-------------------------------------------TIME SKIP 3 YEARS LATER-------------------------------------------

"Damn it, Shiro! I can't believe you don't want to go see my family!"

"No, that's not-" Shirosaki tried to explain.

"After three years, I can't believe you won't meet my family!"

"Ichigo-"

"No! I don't want to hear it!"

"It's not that I don't want to meet them," he said, trying to get his boyfriend to calm down. "I'm just...not sure I want them seeing what I got you." He blushed.

Ichigo looked at him, horrified. "What the hell did you get me?"

"It's..." he hesitated.

"Oh god. You got me a sex toy didn't you?" he asked, disgusted.

"No! God, those things are freaky."

"Then what the hell do you want to give me that my family can't see?"

"Look, I want to meet your family, but what I want to give you, I don't want them seeing yet."

"Then you better fucking explain what the hell it is, because if not, I'm walking out the door."

"I can't tell you what it is! It's a Christmas present! You're supposed to find out tomorrow!"

"Why can't you just give it to me when we get back?"

"Because it's not the same," he said, blushing.

"Fine," he said, closing his suit case. "I'm going to visit my family. You can either come or not." Picking up the bag, he walked out the door and left Shirosaki standing alone in the living room. Fuck. How could things go so wrong? He'd meant to give Ichigo this silver and gold ring for Christmas, but with the way things were going, it didn't look like it was going to happen.

Maybe he should just give it to him when they got back...but it wasn't the same! He wanted to give it to him on Christmas because that was they day they had gotten together. The only reason he didn't want to give it to him in front of his family was because he didn't want them freaking out about it. He did not have a good relationship with parents...

Sighing, he stood up and grabbed his bag. He'd figure something out when he got there, anything was better than spending Christmas alone. Outside he found Ichigo still waiting for him by the car. He was scowling which meant he was still pissed.

Throwing his bag into the trunk, he got into the passenger's seat while Ichigo got into the driver's seat and drove off. The Kurosaki household wasn't that far away, maybe an hour at the most. But that had to be the longest car trip of his life, and he kept toying with the ring box he'd shoved in his pocket.

When they finally arrived, there was a man with short, black hair and a beard waiting for them outside who immediately went to attack Ichigo when he got out of the car. It was a failed attempt, and the two girls that walked outside next rushed to hug their brother. Shirosaki merely got the bags out of the car. He felt so out of place...

The man he assumed to be Ichigo's father immediately got up and tried to help him. "Here, let me get those for you!"

"Uh...I got it. Just show me where to drop them."

"It's so nice to have a friend of Ichigo's spend the holiday with us!"

Yet another reason for him not to give Ichigo his gift here. His family didn't even know they were going out, so giving him a ring would just kinda...I dunno...be bad.

As they got inside, Ichigo told him where his room was and said he could set the bags down there. Man, he was really pissed if he was ignoring him like that. And the only way he could get him to understand was if he either told him about the ring or gave it to him...but it was meant for tomorrow! Fuck, it was going to be a long day. The only good thing so far was that he had remembered to bring the presents they had bought for everybody...

Ichigo continued to ignore him as much as he could for the rest of the day, and when dinner came around, he sat as far away as possible from Shirosaki. Well, guess he was sleeping on the floor tonight...

With nothing else to do, Shirosaki helped Yuzu clean up dinner and was suddenly pulled aside by Isshin. He was stared at for a minute before the man hugged him. He was both surprised and freaked out.

"Um...are you ok?"

"I'm just so happy," he sniffed. "Thank you."

"Uh...sure. Mind telling me what for?"

He suddenly pulled away, wiped his eyes, and went rushing back into the kitchen, leaving a very confused Shirosaki behind.

Nine o' clock finally rolled around and everyone headed off to bed. The white-haired teen silently followed his lover up the stairs, unsure if he would even be allowed in. When he wasn't immediately shoved out the door, he quietly closed it behind him.

"Why can't you just tell me?"

"Because it wouldn't mean anything then."

Sighing, Ichigo said, "Then I guess you're sleeping on the floor."

"Alright." No use in putting up a fight.

Once the blankets had been set up and they both lay down, an awkward silence fell over them. They lay like that for what seemed like hours, neither wanting to give in to the other. About midnight they both fell asleep, only to have Yuzu and Karin come bursting in at five in the morning, eager to open their presents.

It was just like the Christmas three years before, only with an added guest. Presents were exchanged and laughs were had, but Ichigo still ignored his lover. When dinner rolled around, it was the same as it had been the night before. The only difference was that during the previous night, Shirosaki had made up his mind to give Ichigo his present when they were both safely up in his room that night.

As things quieted down and the girls settled in to watch Christmas movies, Shirosaki finished cleaning up. Joining Karin and Yuzu, he sat and laughed at how poorly made the movies were. There were weird puppets and bad music.

Ichigo sat back and watched his lover interact with his family, wondering what the hell he could have gotten him that his family couldn't see. Not that it really mattered. He couldn't stay mad at him when he was having so much fun. And especially considering it was Christmas...he'd forgive him the next time they were alone.

About eleven that night, the girls had fallen asleep and Shirosaki was carrying them upstairs. Halfway up, Isshin took one of them and helped him put them to bed. Walking back to Ichigo's room, he found him sitting on his bed, waiting for him.

"Oh shit. What did I do now?"

Shaking his head, Ichigo replied, "Nothing. I just...can't stay mad at you. No matter how much I want to." He scowled.

Chuckling Shirosaki said, "Good. Because last night I decided you could have your gift."

Ichigo stared at him in shock. He was even more surprised, and now confused, when his lover handed him a small box.

"The idea is to open it, not stare at it," he said. The orange-haired teen noticed a faint blush. Just what the hell was this?

Unwrapping the paper, he found a small, black box. Apparently he was slower than Shirosaki had originally given him credit for because he was still confused. Had he never seen a ring box before? Damn, where the hell did he grow up?

Opening the box, his face went from confused to surprised. Glancing from the ring to his lover, he said, "Wha-"

"It's a ring stupid."

"I can see that, but why-"

"Because I love you," he said, his blush deepening.

Smiling, Ichigo stood up and hugged Shirosaki, who was caught completely off guard. Realizing what was going on, he pulled the teen away and kissed him, wrapping his arms around his waist. His lover eagerly responded.

Pulling back, Shirosaki said, "So, I have a question."

"Hm?"

"In a weird, twisted way, will you marry me?"

Laughing, Ichigo replied, "Yes."


Daaaaaamn. I can't write oneshots for shit...which is probably why I don't do it...and it's my first T rated fic...weird...

Anyways, I was originally gonna post this on Christmas, but I think it's weird to do that....maybe it's just me. I don't really wanna look through it right now for credit, so it's not happening. Except for Redfaerie. She always gets her credit.

Merry Christmas and a happy go to hell!