Rukia has a problem. A small problem. A problem that she only just realized and feels rather dense for not having noticed it before.

A little self-consciously, Rukia rolled to the balls of her feet, on tiptoe, and then rolled back down to her heels. She did it several times before giving up with a huff of frustration. Renji didn't seem to notice any of his companion's aggravation. He just stared off, bored out of his mind as they waited for Ichigo and the others to show up (they were having a group outing that Sunday, but so far no one had showed up at the designated meeting place). Just what was wrong with her? He had been her friend for so long that she tended to forget the minor details, but how could she forget that? It wasn't even minor! It was almost as bad as forgetting that he was actually of the male gender.

Rukia let out a short cough, and Renji finally glanced down at her. That's right. Down. It was so painfully obvious now.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid!

"Hey Renji?"


Rukia didn't look at him. "Why do some guys have to be so freakishly tall?"

Pause . . . pause . . .

Renji laughed his head off. Flustered, Rukia yelled, "Shut up! I'm being serious. It's really annoying!"

"Really?" Renji laughed.



Rukia scowled at him for a moment before folding her arms and turning her head. "Well . . . I don't know. It just is. For example, tall guys never take you seriously. Like in battle, but other things too. In fact you still aren't taking me seriously!"

"Nope. Not really," Renji drawled, stretching out and then using her head as an arm rest, just to annoy her.

Rukia swatted his arm away impatiently. "And they like to be jerks and show it off to all the short people too, like what you're doing now!"

"Yeah, yeah. Whatever."

His lack of attention fueled Rukia's anger even more. She pointed an accusing finger at him. "And another thing!" she exclaimed. "It's inconvenient. I understand guys are supposed to be taller than girls, but when the guy's too tall it looks awkward in a relationship! Like—!" But Rukia broke off. She hadn't realized what she had been saying before it just slipped out like that. "N-Nevermind."

"No, go on," Renji said, his eyes narrow. "Like . . . what exactly? What's so awkward about it?"

Rukia coughed again, trying to be nonchalant about it. "Oh, y-you know," she stammered. "L-like . . . if a short girl and tall guy were to . . . k-kiss—ah!" Rukia yelped when Renji grabbed her waist and hoisted her up in the air. "W-w-what the hell are you doing! Put me down!" Rukia demanded, flailing her arms around.

He sat her down on the small wall they had been standing next to. Rukia scowled. "What was that for? Just because I'm short doesn't mean you can just pick me up like a ragdoll and . . ." The words choked in her throat. Now that she was sitting on the wall, she was almost level with Renji. He stared at her, his hands resting on her knees.

"What?" Rukia asked, a little unnerved. Was it just her, or was there the slightest hint of a blush crossing his face? And what was with this strange mood? "Y-your face looks funny."

And it was true. With his eyebrows knitted together and his mouth screwed up in a tight frown, he looked almost as if he were concentrating on something with all of his might. His right eye was even twitching a little. Tension zipped back and forth between the two.

"Oi, Renji. If there's something you want to say, spit it out already!"

He kissed her.

Every inch of Rukia's body froze. All except for her heart, which was jumping and somersaulting inside of her chest. She was too shocked to even close her eyes. But he kept it short, and Renji broke the kiss. Rukia knew for certain that he was blushing now.

"Well? Was it awkward?" he asked gruffly, trying his best to save face as he scratched his head.

She reached out, hesitatingly, and touched his face, as if seeing him in a new light. "No," Rukia breathed, and she leaned in for another. Renji obliged, this time deepening the kiss. But the whole time, he was surprisingly gentle.

They stopped to catch their breath. Panting slightly, completely red-faced, Rukia looked down at her hands and admitted in a tiny voice, "Okay . . . maybe being freakishly tall isn't that big of a deal."

"You're still pouting as if you're not satisfied," Renji teased, trying to get rid of the awkwardness and get back to normal. He ruffled her hair. "What? Do you have another weird question? I suppose you're gonna ask something like 'Why do guys prefer big boobs' right?"

Rukia punched him.

A/N: Just taking a quick break from my 50 prompt challenge momijiXtohru. I realized that I had never written for Bleach before, so I decided to try my hand at it. The idea came to me last night when I realized just how short Rukia looks compared to Renji. Honestly, she practically needs a step ladder just to give him a quick kiss on the check, ne? ^^ oh well, blame genetics I guess. rukiaXrenji forever!