Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach or it's related terminologies, they belong to Kubo Tite.

How To Tie A Cherry Stem

By: Ryuuzauchi

Part-One

Rain poured down the sky in turbulent waves, slithering down damp window panes like twisted vines; wind blew in it's powerful stride, trees flailed their limbs in fear of being upheaved; with the roar of thunder as it's melody, accompanied by the flash of lighting as it's spot light, this is, but the stage our story takes.

Though it is only in the afternoon, everything outside was already a dark mist of gray, even the warm glow of the street lamps seemed to fade in this weather. However, none of the chaos outside was sufficient to break the intense mood of two people on the couch in the Kurosaki house hold.

"Slow down, Ichigo..."

"Mmm..."

"Just a moment-"

"Hmm..."

"So close, almost there- Ah!"

"Ow!"

Kurosaki Ichigo cried out in pain, he glared down at the raven haired girl who's using his lap as a headrest, and growled out: "Why the hell did you hit me again?"

"Not fair, Ichigo! You keep winning the game! Why won't you let me win?" The raven haired girl whined, her blue-violet orbs flashing with frustration as she gave another elbow thrust to her headrest's stomach.

"Dammit, Rukia! Would you refrain from hitting me every time you lose? It's not my fault that you suck at this video game! Keep the violence on screen please!" hissed Ichigo, rubbing at the new sore spot on his stomach.

Kuchiki Rukia threw down her game remote, flip to her back to stare up at the orange haired young man and said lazily: "I'm tired of this game, Ichigo. Let's get something to eat, I'm hungry."

Ichigo narrowed his eyes at her in exasperation, he gave a sigh as he let his own remote join it's partner on the floor. He stood up from the couch and walked toward the TV console to turn off the gaming system and replaced the game Don Kanonji and Side Kick Chappy in Spirits Be Gone II back in it's case, all the while grumbling "Who was it that persisted on playing this stupid game for the past three hours just because she can't beat me?" under his breath.

"Did you say something Ichigo?"

"Nope, you're hearing things."

Ichigo slouch to the kitchen, he opened the fridge door and let his eyes roam at it contents without expectation. Under normal circumstances, the cool box with cold air puffing out would be laden with prepared goods and fresh produce. Though, as of this particular moment, apart for a few boxes of strawberry milk drinks and a couple of oranges, a nearly empty space faced the young man with the grim expression. Ichigo's brows furrowed some more as his stomach gave a protest of hunger.

Ever since Yuzu left two days ago with their father, Karin, and Chad for the three day vacation, a prize from the beach contest that Chad won several weeks back, Ichigo and Rukia, the two who stayed behind to catch up on summer homework (at least Ichigo needs to catch up anyway) had manage to survive only on the left overs Yuzu had prepared the day before the trip, and a few simple dishes Ichigo made with the meager groceries that was left in the fridge from his sister's last trip to the store. How Ichigo regrets now, more or less, for refusing Chad's offer to the vacation, even if the nuisance and absurdity of being beside Don Kanonji for three days is an absolutely preposterous action, but to his current state, it seemed, well, not so much of an nuisance or absurd, for he, at least, won't be facing an empty fridge, he thought.

Ichigo slammed the rectangle box's door shut and and walked back to the living room, frown deepening as his stomach gave another bout of complains.

"Say, Rukia, do you want instant noodles? We're out of proper food." said Ichigo, brown eyes narrowed some more with displeasure when he found the raven haired shinigami rolling around on the floor, a life-size evil-smirking-moronic-rabbit hugged tight to her chest, while squealing "Chappy I love you!". Of course, Kurosaki Ichigo would never admit that he's secretly jealous of the evil-smirking-rabbit, or that he's still sour that he didn't win the moronic-rabbit-with-the-evil-smirk that Kuchiki Rukia so loved back in the beach contest.

"I told you before I don't want unhealthy food. Nii-sama said that they'll stunt ones growth." Rukia replied as she sat up, giving the moronic-rabbit-with-the-evil-smirk a nuzzle with her porcelain cheek and smiled sweetly at Ichigo. "I want curry, with shrimp! The one you made last time!"

'It's not like you'll grow any taller.' Ichigo stared at her with ridicule in his eyes, and said: "There are nothing in the fridge that can be used to make curry. Besides, it's pouring like hell out there. Do you expect me to go to the market in this weather? I might not come back alive."

"Then go when the rain stops." Rukia replied matter of factly and shrugged her slender shoulders. The moronic-rabbit-with-the-evil-smirk still clutched in her arms, it's face pressing to her chest as if in taunt at Ichigo: "Heh, see you try and take my place.". The orange haired young man narrowed his eyes, he don't know at what he should be more annoyed about, the rabbit, her attitude, or both.

As if on cue, the rain outside suddenly slimmed down to a few drizzles, the wind eased it's pace, and the sky brightened, just a little bit, or so it seemed.

"What luck, Ichigo!" squealed Rukia as she ran over to stare out the living room window.

Ichigo scowled in disbelieve at the weather's temperament, with a sigh, he slouch to the foyer and prepared to leave the house. He had to admit, they really do need to buy some real food if they want to survive the next two days without consuming an extremely high level of sodium.

"Hey, take me along!" Rukia demanded as she bounce up to him upon catching him putting on his shoes, her blue-violet eyes sparkled with anticipation.

"You just stay home and be good. I'll be back soon." Ichigo narrowed his eyes at her again. Thinking back to the last time he took her out to the super market, she had made race cars out of shopping carts (and knocked over a tower of cereal boxes by accident, though it'd be a miracle if no accidents occurred.). In the end, Ichigo had to buy all the destroyed cereals as compensation. The embarrassment and trouble she caused made Ichigo never want to show his face at that store again, not to mention the horror of having cereal as your every day meal for the following few months.

"What? But I'm bored." whined Rukia, pouting cutely and tugged on the hem of Ichigo's shirt. It has been a long time since she last had permission to go to a store due to that one incident. Who can blame her? The human world is just full of interesting things to a shinigami. "I promise I won't cause trouble. And I'll help you carry the bags."

"You said that last time too. And look at what happened?" Ichigo huffed with distain as he swat off her hold on his shirt. Though complain as he may, he still grabbed a large umbrella and turned to the raven haired girl, saying: "Well, come on. Let's hurry before the storm comes back."

Rukia's face broke into a bright smile, she slipped on her rain boots and dragged Ichigo out the door in a flurry, not even caring that she was still in her pink Chappy pajamas.

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TBC

Hello everyone! Thank you for reading this story. Readers who have read my previous story, will probably know what the "beach contest" is about mentioned earlier in this chapter. I had originally meant for this story to be an extra to OiaB, as I said at the end of OiaB that I might be planning an extra, but somehow this story turned out to be a stand-alone by itself. Really, sometimes when I write stories, it feels like they have a mind of their own, just spinning out line after line at their volition.

I know this entry is really short, I have not had much time on my hands lately, dealing with school stuff, I will try to get the story finished as soon as I can. For the time being, please be patient, there is nothing better to a writer than it's readers' support! See you in the next chapter!

R&R please!

Anyone who knows how to successfully double-space and and keep the double spacing between after saving in FF's Doc Manager please tell me! I've been trying to do it numerous times but it never worked.