disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: to Christine. More presents!
notes: I am drinking butterbeer. Your argument is invalid.
notes2: why am I allowed to fic.

title: silver shadow believer
summary: Everyone hates Goat-Chin at Christmas. Even Ichigo. Especially Ichigo. — Ichigo/Rukia.






Bells chimed through Karakura's streets. The sound was high and sweet, bouncing off the buildings until the entire town rang with it, and the snow glistened gold and serene with the streetlights. Most people were inside, tucked up snug with blankets and hot chocolate, watching the snow fall.

It was good.

It was peaceful.

Inside the Kurosaki household, however, this was not the case.

(Was it ever the case?)

The place was in an uproar. Yuzu was crying; Karin was growling at Jinta for making Yuzu cry; Jinta was yelling at Karin for hitting him; Ururu was trying to get everyone to calm down long enough to talk it out; Tessai was watching from a safe distance; and Urahara looked like he was having the time of his life. Renji and Chad were arguing amiably over the TV remote; Orihime sat to the side and giggled into Rukia's ear, Ishida on her other side. He looked as pained as Ichigo did.

And Goat-Chin?

Goat-Chin was causing a ruckus in the kitchen and accidentally setting everything on fire.

To put it lightly, it was Not A Good Night.


Ichigo pinched the bridge of his nose. "He really does need help. JESUS CHRIST, DAD, CAN'T YOU STOP?"

There was some flailing as Ichigo went sailing over the back of the couch to beat his father into the ground. The distinct smack of flesh-against-flesh echoed through the house. Everyone stopped moving to wince, except Yuzu and Karin—Yuzu because the sound made her cry harder and Karin because she was just used to it.

Ichigo came back in, scowling furiously.

"M'gonna go get some fresh air," he grumbled.

For a minute, Orihime looked like she was about to offer to go with him. Then he glanced at Rukia, entirely oblivious. "You coming?"

"Yeah, I guess," she said, wincing.

Orihime just smiled at her in a sad way and sank back down into the pillows. Ishida slipped an arm around her shoulders. She didn't even seem to notice.

Karin muttered something about "absolute idiots", but it was cut off as Rukia and Ichigo turned the corner and the din went quiet. They slipped into boots and heavy coats, and trundled out the door.

They didn't get very far.

"You okay?" Rukia asked him quietly.

"Yeah," he said shortly. "Goat-Chin's just a fuckin' idiot."

"Well, at least it explains where you got it from."

Ichigo glared. "Midget."

Rukia didn't even say anything. She just raised an eyebrow at him, and that was the end of the argument. Actually, that was how most of their arguments ended. Ichigo found this distinctly unfair.

They stood outside in the cold together for a while, until Rukia started shivering and Ichigo pretended he wasn't freezing but ushered her inside, anyway. He closed the door, a rattle, a shiver, but as he did:


"Don't worry about it," she smiled.

And she was so small and delicate—and lovely, but that was less important because she was just someone so damn important to him that sometimes Ichigo really just couldn't control himself. He pointed up.

"Mistletoe," he said.


"No one's looking."

"But you family—and my brother—"

Ichigo paid the suddenly panicking girl absolutely no mind. It was just Rukia. He bent (and bent and bent and bent) to just barely skate his lips across hers. For the barest second, it was heaven. Except—


Rukia sighed.

Ichigo turned red and apoplectic.

The moment was ruined.

Just another night in the Kurosaki household.