Disclaimer: Bleach doesn't belong to me.

E até quem me vê lendo o jornal
Na fila do pão, sabe que eu te encontrei
E ninguém dirá que é tarde demais
Que é tão diferente assim
Do nosso amor a gente é que sabe, pequena
E só de te ver eu penso em trocar
A minha TV num jeito de te levar
A qualquer lugar que você queira
E ir onde o vento for
Que pra nós dois
Sair de casa já é se aventurar

*Los Hermanos - Último Romance

And even who sees me reading the newspaper
On the bakery line, knows that I've found you
No one will say it's too late
That it's too different
Of our love, only we know, little one
And when I see you I consider giving
My TV in exchange for a way to take you
To any place you want
And go where the wind blows
'Cause for us
Going out is already an adventure

*Los Hermanos - Last Romance

Roommate Wanted

Ichigo wishes he lived in the sixties. "The summer of 2010" sounds lame and modern and leaves a metallic taste in his mouth, and he's really a romantic at heart.

So he pretends the summer before his last year of college is the summer of 1968 and remembers someone saying that falling in love in the sixties meant being in love forever.

The apartment is too large.

It is also really close to campus and just above that café he goes to study when finals come around. And it had really nice, large windows framing the perfectly blue sky.

Still. It is too large.

By the next day, there are "Roommate wanted" signs all over campus.

Tatsuki is a weird girl, and she and Ichigo are much too similar to like each other right away. They go from sharing a few classes to sharing a place much faster than they go from acquaintances to friends. But there is understanding between them, hidden somewhere behind their scowls.

Getting Tatsuki as a roommate is a two-for-one deal, so Inoue unofficially comes as well, and if the girl weren't so frigging nice, Ichigo would've thrown a fit. Though that is not the whole reason why he accepts her presence. It is the look Tatsuki gets in her eyes every time she looks at the other girl that says she is the only person in the world and has Ichigo wondering if there lies more than friendship between the two girls. His discretion, however, makes him blush and look at his feet every time they go to bed together, night after night, in spite of the vacant bedroom.

It doesn't take long for him to realise, though, that Inoue sees Tatsuki as nothing but a friend. He isn't sure, however, if the same applies to the other girl, and he tells himself that is the reason he can never reciprocate the feelings Inoue develops for him. Ichigo was never good at being truthful to himself. Tatsuki is a nice girl and he wouldn't like to make her suffer, but he knows she would rather die than see Inoue unhappy, and for some unfathomable reason Inoue wants Ichigo, so Tatsuki would give them her blessing if things ever come to that.

But they never do.

Inoue looks like someone out of the books Ichigo used to read Yuzu when the twins were little, all smiles and soft hands and long hair. She is kind and she is loyal and Ichigo would've liked to have fallen in love with her, you know, the kind of love fairytales are made of, bright and pure, the kind of love she deserves.

Fact is, it should be easy to love her, and it is. Ichigo does love her, but he never manages to fall for her.

It's okay, though, 'cause Inoue never gives expecting something in return, she gives and gives, and Ichigo wonders what will happen when she has nothing else to give and worries, because she is much too good and precious and deserves better than that.

Chad is next. The boy would fit the description of tall, dark and quiet, but most people would get the wrong picture. There is an odd calm that surrounds him, his eyes are unbelievably gentle, his hands are steady as he works on the strings of his acoustic guitar and Ichigo somehow knows that he can trust him with his life.

Ichigo isn't sure what he does with his day, though. He certainly doesn't go to uni with them (there is no way he could've missed someone with Chad's size, even if the campus is pretty large), but he pays the rent in advance, so Ichigo doesn't pry and Chad gets the third bedroom.

Most days, Ichigo studies, Tatsuki trains, Inoue draws and Chad disappears to God knows where.

Sometimes, when the four of them are home, Chad will play his guitar in his room and the other three will hold their breaths and not make a sound to hear the things the boy doesn't say out loud.

Chad has been there for no more than three weeks when Ichigo wakes up to find a girl he had never seen in his life drinking coffee at the kitchen counter.

"Yo," he greets her.

The girl lifts the bottom of the mug without taking it from her lips in a silent greeting. She finishes her coffee in one big gulp and takes one last drag from her burning cigarette before putting it out. She finally looks at him. "Now, where do you guys keep the remote? Chappy is on."

Later, he deeply regrets answering her question.

The girl (Rukia) is completely crazy, Ichigo decides soon enough. She smells of cigarettes and cinnamon and holds a world of secrets just behind her eyes. She is too short, her eyes are too big and her skin too pale. She watches Chappy, the Rabbit wearing mismatched socks. And she apparently lives in her car. Which is a "adorable brownish 1978 BMW 733i" as she proudly declares. Of course, it is also completely unrideable, which leads them to their current predicament: her sleeping on their couch. Without paying rent.

"An unrideable car is still a livable car," Ichigo states sourly as he eyes the car with suspicion.

"No car is a liveable car," Inoue exclaims. "Of course you can stay with us, Kuchiki-san!"

Ichigo wisely decides not to point out that Inoue also doesn't pay rent, and therefore has no say in the matter.

"It won't be for long," Rukia assures him. "I just have to get my baby running again," she adds, patting the thing.

"Brat," a vein starts to pop on Ichigo's forehead. "That thing," he points to her car. "is dead. It's in cars' afterlife, wherever that might be."

"Don't say that in front of Andy! She might hear it!" she cries, horrified.

"Oh, for God's sake."

And that's how Rukia ends up sleeping on their couch every night.

Ichigo makes breakfast on Mondays and Wednesdays, Tatsuki on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Chad on Fridays. They let Inoue believe she is responsible for breakfast on weekends, but no one bothers to wake up before noon. Rukia makes lunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Of course, her concept of making lunch is ordering burritos or, if she is feeling charitable, pizza. But who was complaining?

"I am," Ichigo grumbles, scowling down at his pepperoni.

Rukia rolls her eyes. "If you don't want it, I do. Gimme."

Ichigo only scowls harder before taking a large bite. "Brat."

Rukia hides a satisfied grin and continues eating.

Rukia (brat, midget, bitch etceteras) is a mystery to Ichigo.

Despite their not-so-ideal beginning, Ichigo and Rukia initial dislike does grow into a reluctant and unusual friendship.

Except he doesn't know all that much about her.

The only things he does know about her was that she is a friend of Chad's and that she lived in her car.

He doesn't know why she lived in her car, if she has any family, what/if she is studying, if she has figured out what she'll do about not having a car/home; if she has a job; where she has come from; if she is in love.

You know, the important stuff. The things everyone should know about a person you've known and lived with for a few weeks.

But that is not what makes Rukia so… intriguing to Ichigo.

There are some things he knows about her. He knows she smokes while drinking coffee in the morning; has an unhealthy obsession for a bunny named Chappy; wears leg warmers to sleep "'cause socks always find a way of disappearing in the middle of the night"; likes only three kinds of films: ones that feature non-talking things talking (say, bunnies), eighties chick-flicks and anything that has Tarantino's name on it; snores; is addicted to Mexican food; has a tiny freckle right under her lower lip and likes all kinds of music.

But still there are hundreds of other details to be discovered that make Rukia different from everyone else in the world and that somehow makes her the most mysterious person he has ever met.

It never crosses his mind that everyone is made of hundreds of details that make them different from one another and even so they don't seem half as mysterious as she.

It never occurs to him that maybe she only is so mysterious to him because he wants to learn all about of those tiny details that make her Rukia.

Rukia plops down on the sofa next to him. "What I wouldn't give for coffee and a cigarette right now?" she groans.

"You've got some nasty habits, you know that?" Ichigo deadpans.

Rukia rolls her eyes. "So I've been told."

"Why do you smoke, anyway?"

"That's none of your business."


Hers and Chad's relationship is another mystery to Ichigo. He wakes up everyday to find her watching Chappy, the Rabbit, and wearing nothing but leg warmers and Chad's Breakfast Club t-shirt, which just about screams girlfriend and love and… Ichigo doesn't like that line of thought. He is almost certain they aren't having sex, though, 'cause the girl ends up sleeping on the couch every night, and for some unimaginable reason Ichigo feels relieved every time he has to go to the kitchen some time during the night and finds her sprawled on the couch, snoring away.

Still, he can't decide if the affection shared between the two is a sign of friendship or something more, and even though it is none of his business, he can't help being curious. Especially since the pair of them disappears from the flat at random hours of the day and don't come home 'till five in the morning on Thursdays and Saturdays.

"Band practice," Chad says one day after Inoue innocently asks where they go off too. "And gigs."

"Cool!", Ichigo, who has been trying to be inconspicuous while listening to the conversation, says with unusual excitement.

"Chad had never told you about our gigs?" Rukia demands, jumping to slap the back of Chad's head.

"They had never asked anything," Chad answers. "Dwarf warrior," he adds affectionately ruffling the girl's hair.

She harrumphs and slaps his hand away.

It turns out that from then on Ichigo, Tatsuki and Inoue find themselves every Wednesday in a bar a few blocks away from the flat to hear the Coke Generation.

Renji is an idiot. And the guitarist, Ichigo decides after being introduced to him by Rukia. He would've known it even if he hadn't seen his shiny red Fender. The bastard is obnoxious, loud and much too cocky to be anything else and Ichigo decides right away that he doesn't like him. It may have to do with the way the redhead's casually puts his arms around Rukia's shoulders, but Ichigo isn't ready to admit to that just yet. So he turns his attention back to the band and is surprised to learn that Chad does most of the singing while playing his bass guitar. And even more to see Rukia seated at the drummer's bench.

The three of them make a weird sight, Renji looks like someone taken from a rock band from the seventies with all the leather he's wearing; Chad, with his flower-stamped shirts, looks ready to play his guitar by a bonfire on the beach and Rukia looks too cool with her fedora and waistcoat to be playing anything other than jazz or blues.

Weirder still was their setlist, including anything from unknown Swedish bands to Britney Spears.

They have fun playing, Ichigo notices after watching Rukia laugh (without missing a beat) during Chad's priceless rendition of "A Boy Named Sue."

He catches her eye and she sends him a playful wink.

"Why are we doing this again?" Ichigo asks, taking his eyes from the TV as Molly Ringwald's panties are displayed to a bunch of fifteen-year olds hormone-driven teenagers.

"We're bonding," Rukia answers matter-of-factly.

"Could we bond over something else? I mean, John Hughes films? Seriously? What about Tarantino? Blood, torture, great dialogue and all that jazz," he reasons.

"As much as I love watching Nazis being scalped, there'd be no point in it. I mean, what would be the sacrifice in that? The whole point of this is that you're watching something you don't want to. For your adorable little friend," she adds solemnly.

Ichigo frowns. "I'm pretty sure that's not the definition of bonding, and even if it were, what would be your sacrifice, brat?"

"Ah, well."

"No, seriously," he insists.

Rukia sighs. "Tell you what, next Sunday, you, me and Mel Gibson's Hamlet. Deal?"

Ichigo looks thoughtful for a moment, before protesting. "That's only one film, you're making me watch four."

"Awww, but come on! Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful are practically the same movie with different endings!"

"Okay, so we'll take one of those out, and we can add Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino and Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet to your sacrifice."

"Nooooooo!" She whines. He glares. "Okay." Rukia gives in, sighing. "So, which one do you prefer? Best friend gets the gal or not?"

"… isn't Keith Nelson a guy?"

"Same difference."

Renji starts appearing everyday, which only serves to confirm Ichigo's first impression of him. And if that isn't enough, Inoue's friend from the sewing-knitting-something-really-gay club starts showing up as well.

Ishida, Inoue's gay friend, turns out not to be gay at all. In fact, he is completely and obviously infatuated with the girl, who, in turn, has no idea he is even straight to begin with.

Renji smirks knowingly at the orange haired boy. "You know," he begins. "As her oldest friend, I should give you the whole 'I'll kill you if you hurt her' speech, but not only that's too fucking cliché, it's also too fucking unnecessary. She'll eat you alive before you even get the chance to hurt her."

"Shut up," Ichigo says with a scowl, not bothering to deny anything.

Ichigo is not the dating kinda guy. That's not say he's is a heart breaking bastard or anything of the sort.

On the contrary, he's a romantic at heart, really. Now don't get me wrong, he wouldn't be caught dead gazing at the stars or, worse yet, into someone's eyes. At least, not just anyone's.

He carefully avoids the word 'love', so that when he finally says it, the meaning will be clear to whomever he says it to and to himself.

So when Inoue says she loves him, he can only think of how she also loves shoes, and that band (what's its name again?), and Tatsuki, and jelly with beans, and this and that, and wonders if she loves him as just one more of those things. He can't hold it against her, though. She is just that type of girl. She has so much love to give, and so she does unrestrictedly and selflessly and he wishes he could accept it.

But Ichigo doesn't go around dating everyone he meets. He knows that when he falls in love, he will be too selfish to accept having anything less than someone's whole heart in return, because that's what he'll be willing to offer.

Ishida has a gift. It has to do with sewing and knitting and really gay stuff, but it's also bigger than that. It's not that he simply fixes things, it's that everything he touches turns into something better than it ever was before.

He has an old soul and soft spot for pain, broken things turn to gold in his hands.

Ichigo doesn't think Inoue could ever be better than she used to be, but for once he is wrong and glad for it.

Ichigo watches Inoue's heart break and then watches as Ishida puts it back together and turns it into gold and sapphire and stars.

Tatsuki pines. It's painful to watch, but it's also beautiful, 'cause there's also happiness. For Inoue is happy and there is nothing else Tatsuki wanted more than that.

Ichigo wishes he could be as altruistic, but just imagining seeing Rukia with someone else sends his blood boiling.

He won't share her.

Ichigo and Rukia lie on the roof, watching the sky, he drinks some cheap beer, she smokes cheap cigarettes and drinks expensive coffee.

"Tell me something," he demands suddenly.

Rukia is silent for a moment before answering, as if she doesn't have a care in the world, "Sure".

"Wha-" Ichigo is shocked. "That's it?"

She lifts her head from the blanket on the ground and looks at him as if he was crazy. "What's the problem with you? You ask me to tell you something, I tell I will and you act as if I've just grown a second head." And before he can respond, she lets her head fall back to the blanket, closes her eyes and begins talking again, "Just listen. This is one of those it-would-be-funny-if-it-weren't-tragic stories," she starts. "It's the story of how I started smoking, so you listen and stop pestering me about it, okay? It all happened a couple of years ago when I believed myself to be in love with this guy. But, you know, the unrequited kind. Long story short, I was bitter and lonely and watching a lot of TV, hating all men and all that jazz, when I came across this show where this chick was like 'I want a man to lit up my cigarette' and her friend was like 'you don't smoke, idiot' and she answered 'that's 'cause I've never had a man to lit up my cigarette'. And I, in an act of self-respect, went out in my PJ's and bought a carton of strawberry ice cream, coffee and a pack of Marlboros to represent my independence from all things male. I don't need anyone to lit up my cigarettes."

Ichigo takes Rukia's hand in his, looks deeply into her wide surprised eyes and declares solemnly. "You're a deeply disturbed person," right before being kicked on the balls.

And, there, sprawled on the floor, in pain, but still amused, Ichigo realises something. She tried to be all nonchalant about the whole thing, but the guy, the guy in her story, had really done a number on that girl and she had shared that with him in that subtle way of hers.

She tells him of heartbreak and pain in a silly story about coffee and cigarettes, and Ichigo thinks maybe there's hope for him after all.

The next time she tells him something, he doesn't have to ask.

They pretend their hands aren't touching as they seat side by side on the roof.

"You say you don't know a lot about me, but I know nothing about you either," Rukia complains.

"I," he hesitates. "I'm not very good at words."

She smiles into the blowing wind. "That's okay I guess. We'll just have to work on that." She hums a little. "Let's see. Tell me something good. You know, happy stuff, that kind of shit. Tell me something you like."

He eyes her with suspicion, but complies. "I like… I like the heat. And my sisters. Shakespeare. I like to sleep late. And I like to take pictures of feet." He averts his eyes. "And I like this." And his eyes are back to her.

And she smiles in a kind of embarrassed way and looks down, but her hand is suddenly in his.

Rukia stares unseeingly at the screen as the credits roll down.

"Brat?" Ichigo nudges her. She doesn't offer any reaction. "Rukia!" He shakes her shoulder.

"What?" she snaps.

"What's it with you? Did you pay any attention to the film? Were you thinking about Chappy again?" he asks, exasperated.

She glares at him. "No. I actually paid attention and it served only to confirm my belief that Romeo and Juliet were never in love. They were just two hormone driven teenagers who killed themselves, drunken in their lustful stupor."

Ichigo sighs deeply before answering in a barely controlled voice, "You really don't get it."

Rukia answers in an equally dangerous tone. "Are you calling me dumb?"

Ichigo seriously considers saying yes, but decides to be the bigger person for once. "Okay. Let's try this. Think about it this way, they are living in the XV century. She will eventually be married off to someone much older or related to her or both, someone she doesn't love. He'll marry a good, well-bred young lady who'll bore him to death and lead him to have several affairs during their marriage. Love isn't the condition, it's the exception. So, maybe they are rushed into it, maybe they don't know each other really well, but this is the closest thing they'll ever get to real love and all they want is a chance. A chance to fall in love with people the chose, and it's for that chance that they kill themselves. That's part of what makes it so beautiful, they were willing to let go of everything - wealth, family, their lives - simply for the possibility of love," at the ending of his rant he's panting and flushed, and looking hard into the screen.

"So," Rukia begins, also staring straight ahead. "I was right. They were never in love." But she doesn't say it with arrogance or victory, more in tired almost defeated tone.

He is silent for a few moments before answering. "They were falling in love. They… they were learning each other." He finishes, finally looking at her.

And that night Rukia doesn't sleep on the couch.

In the past months he has learned dozens of other little details about Rukia, but nothing seems to abate his curiosity. Nothing ever will, he realises.

Winter arrives and his father's calls increase, "You ungrateful child! Your sisters cry in their beds every night because you've forgotten us!" Ichigo hears vaguely indignant sounds on the background that he assumes must be Karin's protests. "You'd better come home for Christmas! And with a girl! Or a boy, if that's where you preferences lie. You must know I'll love you whatever your sexual orientation is."

Ichigo hangs up. If only it were possible to kick someone through the phone.

Later, he calls Yuzu's cell phone and tells her "Of course I'm coming home for Christmas. Have I ever missed it before?"

Christmas is a happy time in the Kurosaki household, as it should.

Yuzu is constantly cheerful and her cooking is especially delectable, Karin is happily sarcastic (something that he never imagined possible) and his father is just as obnoxious as ever.

Ichigo takes comfort in knowing some things never change.

"High school is over. I'm not getting into college for another six months, so I'm going with you," Karin declares with finality as he starts packing.

"Says who?" he asks boredly.

"I do".

"Have you even asked dad?"

She raises her eyebrow at him.

"Okay", he relents. "That was a stupid question. But just because dad is a spineless idiot doesn't mean I'll take you."

Karin sighs impatiently. "Why wouldn't you?"

"I'm in no mood to play babysitter, thank you very much."

She snorts. "As if. I'm seventeen, you prick. And anyway, I do know where you hide all your old magazines and Yuzu will be simply horrified when I show her how much of a pervert you really are."

Ichigo glares. Karin smirks.

He thinks it's a good thing Rukia moved from the couch into his bed, or else Karin would be sleeping on the floor.

Except. Rukia. His sister. Shit.

It's official: the flat is turning into a hostel.

Not that anyone cares.

And, as it turns out, Ichigo worries over nothing. Karin doesn't even blink when Rukia follows him to the bedroom and the next day only hides her grin behind her coffee mug.

Later on, she tells him "You could do a lot worse."

Which, coming from Karin, means: "She's awesome. Don't let he go or I'll kick you in the balls".

He nods seriously.

Karin starts learning the guitar from Chad, who's infinitely patient as he corrects the position of her fingers on the neck of the instrument. She blushes and Ichigo thinks there's a first for everything.

Rukia watches them knowingly and smirks at Ichigo who is none the wiser.

It's only a few weeks later that he notices something… odd.

He gets up in the middle of the night to get a glass of water, but when he passes the living room there's something missing. It takes him a few seconds to realise what it is, but when he does, it sends a rush of panic through him. His sister!

"Karin?" he calls panicked, checking the bathroom.

He is about yell, not caring if neighbours complain, when Chad's door clicks open.

And, behind the giant Mexican boy, is his sister. His adorable, pure, VIRGIN little sister. Wearing Chad's Where The Wild Things Are T-shirt.

"WHAT THE FUCK?" he shouts caring less and less for the neighbours.

Suddenly Rukia is at his side and her mere presence makes him a bit calmer. "What's the meaning of this?" she says very quietly.

"Exactly," he says advancing on Chad, despite him being easily twice as wide and at least two heads taller than him. "What the hell were you doing to my little sister, you child-molester?"

Karin's embarrassment gives place to her fury. "You're a fucking hypocrite! I'm just one year younger than Rukia and you've been fucking her pretty regularly from what I can tell."

Ichigo has to sigh deeply so as not to shout. "That's not the point. The point," he glares at Chad before lunging at him. "is that I'm going to fucking KILL that son of a bitch!"

Karin puts herself in their middle before Ichigo can reach Chad. "If anyone is to blame here, it's me," she says calmly. "'Cause I'm the one who seduced him."

Ichigo is gobsmacked.

Rukia is amused.

Karin is steady.

And Chad is clearly besotted.

Ichigo doesn't talk to either of them for the next two weeks. Not that they are trying, and that's what makes it so damn infuriating. They are too lost in their little world to even notice he's ignoring them.

Ichigo sulks in the bedroom while the two watch the TV, holding hands.

Rukia rolls her eyes as she enters the bedroom. "That's enough, Ichigo. Stop acting as a petulant child."

Ichigo's scowl grows even more pronounced. "My little sister."

Rukia sighs. "She's not so little anymore," she says, sitting by his side. "And you know what? Chad is a great guy. One of the best out there. He would never, ever dream to hurt her. Shouldn't you be happy that she found someone who loves and respects her?"

"No! She could just not be with anyone. That would be perfect", he grumbles.

Rukia rolls her eyes. "You're just being difficult", she says exasperatedly, but she's smiling. "C'mon. Let's go watch some Chappy with them."

"Now, that's just mean."

But it's humanly impossible to not like Chad, and he clearly makes his sister happy so Ichigo has no choice but to give in.

It's a few months later when he is about to knock on Chad's door that he hears his sister quietly sobbing over the boy's soft tones. He is about to burst in and demand what the idiot has done to hurt her, but thinks better of it and just listens. He can barely make out what Chad's is saying, so he pushes his ear to the door.

"It's the only way," the boy says quietly.

"That's not true," she contradicts him vehemently.

"You know it is," Ichigo can clearly discern the pain in his voice. "I'm no one. I've always been no one, and up until the moment I met you, I was ready to be no one for the rest of my life. But that's not enough anymore. I'm not good enough for you. So you have to let me do this."

"I won't", his sister's sob nearly breaks his heart. "I won't let you go."

There is a pause, and Ichigo nauseated wonders if maybe they are kissing. "Karin," he says after a while. "I'll go out there a conquer the world and bring it back to you."

She only sobs harder, and Ichigo feels helpless and ashamed for listening in such a private moment.

They are all in a new bar, and Rukia and Renji have just left the stage, supposedly to take a break, when Chad takes his acoustic guitar, sits on the small bench and sings about sacrifices and leaving and love. His eyes are locked with Karin's.

"While I'm chasing my own dreams, sailing around the world, you know I'm yours to keep, my beautiful girl."

It's only on the dead of night, after hours of tossing and turning, that he finally brings himself to say it, crushing her body to his almost painfully. "Don't ever leave me," he whispers desperately.

Rukia kisses his collarbone softly. "Wherever I'm going, I'm taking you with me."

Rukia and Ichigo lay in bed.

"I have class."

"I have work."

"We should get up."


Rukia and Ichigo snuggle closer.

It always begins like this: "Just listen." And, every time, he drinks her every word.

"My car, Andy. It used to be my sister's. Brother let me have it because… because. I mean… I don't know. You know… you know when your life is yet to begin? I mean, I spent my whole childhood thinking things would begin when I got into High School. Then I spent all of High School thinking my life would start after graduation. So I graduated and life didn't begin. I was supposed to go to college. That was what was expected, what my brother wanted. But… but then I thought, heck, that'll be four more years of waiting for life to begin. So I thought, fuck that. My life begins when I want it to. And I said that to Brother. And he let me go. He said 'A year. You have a year.' This is my year. I wasn't living in my car. I was going to travel, you know? But then… it didn't happen, so I called Chad and he asked me 'do you still have that drumsticks of yours?' and then I met you. And I think maybe my life is beginning now."

Friday nights they end up in a club where the Coke sometimes plays. But not tonight.

Tonight, Inoue and Ishida are dancing in slow motion, though the song is fast. If Ichigo were watching he would think to himself that they both were never quite in synch with the rest of the world, but the were exactly right for each other.

Chad and Karin are lost in each other's eyes. If Ichigo were watching he would know that's just their way of saying goodbye.

Tatsuki is rolling her eyes at something Renji said and the redhead is grinning arrogantly down at her. If Ichigo were watching he would be able to see the spark in both their eyes.

But he isn't watching any of that, because tonight he only has eyes for Rukia.

"We're waaaay better than they are," she says, pointing to the band on stage with her beer bottle.

Ichigo shrugs noncommittally. "I guess."

"We are too!" she insists, stomping her foot like a petulant child.

Ichigo rolls his eyes. "Yeah, whatever."

She is silent for a long moment and Ichigo knows she is cooking something up in that brain of hers. "My brother," she begins. "My brother says he has a position for me in his company once I graduate. He doesn't even know what I'll major in. I don't even know what I'll major in. Still. He wants me to have a 'decent' career. A family. Be happy." She chuckles softly. "What's happiness anyway? Having a TV two inches larger than my neighbour's? Changing cars every year? Well, fuck that, you know? Fuck that. This. This is the only thing I want.

"It's the only thing I could ever do, you know?" She asks, and he nods, even though he isn't sure what she is talking about. "Know what I mean? Music, old friends, dirty jokes and maybe a cigarette every once in a while. Only things that really matter." She takes another swig of beer. "We're not ever gonna be famous. But we're gonna make it alive. We're gonna be okay. We're gonna be happy." And right then her eyes look too large, her hair too mussed and her skin too pale. And maybe she doesn't look the kind of girl a guy would fall for right away, you know, perfect girls with pink lips and perfect manners and fairytale thoughts, there is nothing obvious about her, she is the kind of girl you have to discover, hidden under mismatched socks and silly songs and tales of cigarettes, she is the kind of girl that would take you forever to learn. She will travel in a yellow old van and she'll see the world through a old pair of Ray-Bans and dance to the sound of rain and sing instead of sleep and she isn't going to be famous, but she'll have the world, and Ichigo has a feeling that he'll follow her wherever she wants to go.

"I have forever, you know?" he says quietly, and she smiles knowingly.


A.N: Ok, so, there are a few things I should explain/point out.

1. The song in the beginning is by a Brazilian band, so the lyrics are in Portuguese, even though the band's name is in Spanish. I translated the lyrics myself.

2. Rukia's car is the same owned by Winona Ryder in Reality Bites.

3. The film Rukia and Ichigo watch in which Molly Ringwald's panties are displayed is Sixteen Candles.

4. The Tarantino film in which there are Nazis being scalped is Inglorious Basterds.

5. Interesting fact: in Pretty in Pink, John Hughes wanted Andie (Molly Ringwald) to end up with Duckie (Jon Cryer), but the producers were against it and had her getting back together with rich-and-handsome Whatshisname. Whatever. John totally redeemed himself when he made Keith end up with Watts in Some Kind of Wonderful. Anyway, I love both, but maybe there should be an alternative universe where Duckie and Watts get together. No, seriously. I'm all for the underdog.

6. The name of Rukia's band comes from the song "Geração Coca-Cola" by Legião Urbana.

7. The show Rukia is referring to when she explains to Ichigo why she stared smoking is called "Comédia da Vida Privada" (Private Life Comedy), the episode is "Mulheres" (Women). if you understand Portuguese, they have this whole episode on YouTube.

8. The song Chad sings to Karin is "The Girl" by City and Colour.

9. The part in which Ichigo says he likes "this" was inspired *coughstolencough* from one of my favourite films, Garden State, with Natalie Portman and Zach Braff.

10. English is not my native language, so there are probably many grammar and orthographic mistakes.

That's it. I hope I didn't make too many mistakes, but feel free to point out any if you spot them.

I hope you all enjoyed reading this, I certainly had fun while writing it.