disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: to Annie.
notes2: it snowed today.

title: holiday from real
summary: As we walk along the shoreline. — Ichigo/Rukia.






"The last time we were here, I was wearing a white sundress."

The sky was grey at the seashore that day. The water was grey, too, blending into the atmosphere at the horizon and leaving the two people on the beach on the boardwalk in a bubble-world leached of colour.

Rukia tugged on the scarf around her neck, breathing out solid in the salty air.

It was very cold.

Ichigo looked down at the diminutive woman at his side, wrapped in his coat and his scarf because she'd refused to wear her own. Stupid girl.

"Yeah. It was warm then, midget. Why are we here now?"

And he shivered violently and told himself it was from the cold, so he drew his hoodie closer around himself. But they were alone and it felt like home. Rukia glanced up at him, lips pulling up and almost smirking but really it was just a happy little smile, glowing like sunrise.

"Because I like the sea," Rukia said like it was the most obvious thing in the world. "I'm going down to the water. You're coming with me."

"Do I have a choice?"

"Do you ever?"

And he watched her go, skipping lightly down the rocks. Her hair was a spot of ink against the grey water, and Ichigo followed only a moment later, sighing his trepidation. She was going to be the death of him, really (disregarding the fact that, yeah, she'd sort of already been the death of him. Twice).

The snow was light and fluffy and white, clean and pure. Rukia spun around and around with her arms stretched out until she was dizzy and wobbling dangerously. Ichigo had to dive to stop her from hitting the ground and skidded to the very edge of the shoreline, water lapping at his shoes and Rukia held aloft.

"Oi," he grunted as he set her down. "Did you get fat, midget?"

"Not as fat as you," Rukia said.

"Yeah, but you're a midget—"

"I will kick you," she said, and this ended the argument.

They looked out towards the horizon together for a little while, comfortable in the silence. Then Ichigo wrapped his fingers through hers and mumbled "C'mon, midget. Didn't you wanna walk?"

Rukia smiled. "Yeah. I did."

And so hand in hand, they walked along the shoreline, and said not a word.