Rukia comes home to find a naked, holier-than-thou man demanding to be dressed, fed and bathed. And she had zero idea who he was. Little did she know just how accurate first impressions can be.
Rukia wondered which course of action would deliver the most desirable outcome in the shortest amount of time. 'Screaming' was the first to register in her disoriented mind, but she found that with the height of shock she was in, she was momentarily muted. So that was not an option. 'Making a mad run for it' was a close second in her choice of actions, but she found that with the intensity of disbelief she was in, her legs were beginning to feel a lot like jelly. So that too was quickly negated from her fast shortening list. 'Hurling her bag of groceries' at him was becoming deceptively tempting, but even in her stunned state, she realised she would be left with no food for the week. So she decided against that too.
'I'm in the wrong apartment.'
That had to be the only logical reason that could explain why she was currently standing in her doorway, looking worse for wear, grocery bags in both arms, staring wide eyed, open mouthed at the very naked man, who was in turn staring right back at her in curiosity.
That had to be the only rational explanation that would enlighten her why there was a six foot tall, orange-haired, well-endowed man standing arms crossed, feet apart and staring at her like she was the one naked and letting it all hang.
'I've gone crazy.'
That was definitely it. Her low-paying, hard-working pathetic excuse of a job had finally pushed her over the edge, and now she was hallucinating Greek gods standing in the middle of her living room slash bedroom slash dining room in her tiny apartment. She supposed that if that was what it meant to be crazy, then so be it. It was still better than her mundane life working at that scheming insurance company.
"Great, of all people he gives me a mute."
Like the switch of an 'on' button, all at once Rukia screamed in a pitch so high it was only by an act of miracle that no glass had shattered, as she frantically threw her grocery bags, one after the other, at the once composed nude stranger.
"What the fuck?" Quickly ducking as broccoli soared just above his head, his hands flew to protect his family jewels, which unfortunately only fueled more screaming and more broccoli. "You're crazy too?"
With both hands covering his privates, his face tucked to the left side of his shoulder, he awkwardly ran towards the partially immobile girl and quickly tore her groceries away from her hands as he held her arms firmly to her sides. She looked at him incredulously for a brief quiet moment, before she belted out a shriek so loud he felt his ears ring. Hurriedly pulling both wrists into his one large hand and simultaneously hauling her inside her apartment and slamming the door, he raised his right hand and covered her mouth with it, effectively shutting her up instantly.
"What's the matter with you?" His golden light brown eyes flashed with annoyance as he spoke with his face only a breath away from hers.
She managed to attempt a scream of 'help' into his hand but it only ended up sounding muffled and incoherent. She tried to shake herself from his hold, and whilst his grip wasn't exactly painful, he still exerted enough strength to keep her completely immobile. In the midst of it all, she was becoming much too aware of how close his naked body was against hers that the only thing separating them from gyrating against each other was their hands between their abdomens.
He was so immersed in peeking at the girl with curiosity and confusion that he hadn't registered the soft flick of appendage against his palm. Glancing peculiarly at his hand over her mouth – the mouth beneath the death glare she was sending him – he felt it again, only this time it was longer, forceful and definitely very wet.
"Oh gross!" He jumped back several feet from her and held his hand away from his face that now looked nothing short of utter disgust.
Panting as she dragged her sleeves against her mouth to wipe the spit, death glare still very much in place, she demanded in her defensive stance, "Who the hell are you?" Figuring that she actually did not care for whom this psycho was, she continued, "Get out before I call the police." She warned.
"What the fuck do you mean 'who am I'? We told you I would arrive today-," And then he cut himself off, suddenly looking very skeptical, "Wait. What number is this little hut?" He drawled out.
She fumed mentally at his arrogance but still told him, "7."
Holy shit. He was in the wrong place.
"I don't care who you are, or, or what the hell you're doing in my house, but just get the hell out you creep!" She was so nervous she had literally backed herself up against the wall, never for a moment taking her eyes off of him.
"Oh yeah?" He smirked smugly at her, "Or else what?" He challenged.
She didn't miss a beat when she unleashed another scream that he was pretty sure was reverberating against the entire apartment complex. In a panic, he jumped at her hoping to shut her up again, but the girl was quick to dodge him this time as she scuffled clumsily into her apartment. Their positions now reversed.
"Okay, okay! Just shut up!" He put his hands up as a gesture to calm her down, "I'm just a visitor." He tried to convince her.
"You're naked!" She retaliated in incredulity, her face contorting in a mixture of embarrassment, disgust and fear. Finally her fingers brushed against the smooth wood as she gripped her baseball bat firmly in both hands. "Get out." She hissed.
"Woahh..okay calm down lady. Look at me, do I look like a creep to you?" He was trying to emphasize his point with a rhetorical question, but the meaning was lost on the girl.
"I'm calling the police."
She made a move to grab the telephone but her actions immediately halted when he warned, "You really don't want to do that, and plus, your phone's not working." He shrugged casually.
She looked at him suspiciously but still picked the phone up, only to hear no dial tone. In the span of that one second, her distress grew tenfold. "How-,"
He cut her off with a dismissive wave of his hand and an arrogant roll of his eyes, "Look lady, don't flatter yourself, if I wanted to have sex with you, I would have already. If I wanted to kill you, I could have done that eleven different ways that would leave you dead before you even hit the ground-,"
Okay judging by the sudden spike of fear in her outward appearance, perhaps that wasn't the best example to use to assert his trustworthiness. Still he continued unfazed.
"If I wanted to rob you, I couldn't. You have nothing worth anything. If I-,"
"Okay!" She cried, slightly exhausted by the tension, "I get it. So what do you want from me? Why are you in my house?" She hated to admit that he actually had a point. She had nothing valuable in her apartment worth stealing, he seemed to pose no threat to her well-being, and yeah, if he wanted to kill her, he could have done so with that insane strength he had.
Now that the threat levels were slowly disintegrating, she found her attention drifting to the fact that he was still naked.
"Wow, you call this a house? Lady you really like praising yourself-,"
"Whatever! What do you want then?" The day had already been so long and she was getting hungry and tired, today really wasn't the best day for this to happen. Or any other day.
"Just let me stay for the night."
"Why not? I'm harmless!" he sulked. "Look I'm very rich. If you would let me stay one night I'll grant you anything you want. Anything." He haggled her.
"A boyfriend." She bargained seriously.
He clicked his tongue in agitation, "I said I'm rich, not God..."
"If you're so rich then why are you here and with nothing?" She challenged.
"Um, I was.. robbed?" He tried, and upon seeing that she wasn't overly suspicious, he decided it was a viable excuse, "I was robbed. See!" He smiled at her as he put his arms out to demonstrate that he had been robbed of his clothing.
Immediately dropping the bat to shield her eyes and her reddening cheeks, she quickly cried, "All right! Just... just cover yourself up!"
If she wasn't so traumatised by the whole situation, she would have realised how incredibly physically blessed the man was. Sun-kissed tan skin over a well-built muscular body with a very handsome, albeit boyish, face. He was large, in every sense of the word. She however, did notice his mop of orange hair (and she had visual proof that the carpet matched the drapes), she decided to make it her next objective to question whether he was a foreigner.
When she peeked through her fingers, she saw him tugging at her bed sheets.
"This will do." He said to himself.
"What are you doing?" Her jaw slightly agape.
"Covering myself up." He looked up at her innocently and spoke so naturally she had to wonder whether she was the one out of place here.
Whipping around to give him some privacy as he covered up, she spoke awkwardly, "You still need to put something on for your upper body, I'll go see if I have any oversize sweaters."
"Why would I need something for my upper body?"
"Because the sheets will only cover-,"
She was rendered speechless the moment he walked past her to get to the kitchen. Her jaw dropped. Somehow he had managed to twist the sheets in a way that it now draped over one shoulder and covered his waist down. Much like the Greek God Zeus. He was walking around dressed like Zeus. A God. This day really had to end soon for Rukia. Her sanity was hanging by a thread.
"Oi lady, are you gonna feed me or what?" He snapped his fingers at her as he opened the fridge and gracelessly began knocking everything everywhere.
Rukia winced at the constant clanging of jars hitting one another and side-stepped her groceries, now spread out across her apartment floor, to get to the man she had somehow inadvertently agreed hospitality to. Now that she had calmed down slightly, and the threat of this stranger had somehow dissipated, she realised that this man was nothing but clueless and possibly, true to his word, harmless. He was a conflicting image, with his outward appearance very much all man, except for maybe his somewhat boyish features, and his inward mannerisms of a boy.
"My name is Rukia. Not lady." She gritted through clenched teeth, as she snatched up the carrots laid scattered by his sockless feet.
The sun was quickly setting, which signaled night was near, which signaled she could soon fall into a dark abyss of oblivious bliss, which signaled she would soon be rid of this nightmarish day.
"That's nice." He replied nonchalantly, "What kind of food do you humans eat?" he mumbled to himself, still searching out the fridge.
She must've been more tired than she initially thought she was for her to be hearing things, because she was almost certain he had said 'you humans', "What?"
"I said I'm hungry." He announced somewhat impatiently, "You know, you're a terrible host." He brooded.
"Okay, get out." She looked at him as seriously as one could with one arm shouldering carrots and the other arm balancing packaged sausages.
"I'm kidding Riki!" He laughed, not even bothering to glance at her as he found something that piqued his interest.
"Rukia." She corrected.
"Sure." He replied offhandedly, not really paying any attention to the girl. "What's this?" he asked curiously, twisting the red jar round and round to gain a better look at it.
"Strawberry jam." she replied flatly, walking toward her living room slash bedroom to gather the broccoli she had hurled at him before.
He was still examining the jar when he realised she had said strawberry. "So it's food?"
"Yes." She drawled out, reaching for the bananas thrown all around her little television. She figured her fatigue made her guard drop when she noticed how easily she had allowed the boy to stay. Picking the baseball bat up again, she supposed some safety precautions were necessary.
"Can I eat it?" He knew what strawberries were, so he knew he'd like it.
"Okay." She hoped it was overdue.
"How do you eat it?" he was squinting at the lid.
He would have to earn his bread, so she reached into one of the kitchen drawers with an exhausted huff and handed him a spoon.
Night had fallen and the skies were now littered with stars. Rukia sat opposite the intruder by her kotatsu table next to her bed, baseball bat resting securely on her lap. He had come to peace with her wielding her weapon, and therefore paid little attention to it. In the hour that he had invaded her apartment, she had managed to repack her groceries, change into chappy pyjamas, cook some instant ramen for herself – in which her companion only stared at in disgust before shoving a spoonful of jam into his mouth - and learn his name.
After an hour of the Spanish inquisition, she had learned three things about Ichigo. Well four if you counted his name. One, he was most probably dropped on the head a few too many times when he was a kid. Two, he was full of shit, and three, he was full of shit. So really, she had learned nothing about him even after all his colourful answers. In an act to accumulate good karma, which in return she hoped would get her out of her godforsaken job, she convinced herself to still offer him shelter for the night in case he really was mentally retarded. And she was not going to kick a mentally retarded person out of her home.
That was an hour ago. At current moment, she had forsaken any good karma as she gripped her baseball bat.
He looked at her expectantly and waited patiently for a response.
"I didn't do anything!" He cried indignantly, slamming his fourth jar of jam on the kotatsu.
Her eyes glinted dangerously, "I said. Get out."
"I can't help it!" He angrily reasoned with her, "From where I come from, we don't have the same bathroom facilities! This isn't easy on me either!"
She couldn't believe his request when he had first asked it, and on top of that, he had asked it so casually. "I will not bathe you!"
"Why the hell not?" He demanded, genuinely puzzled.
She wanted to scream at him the innumerable reasons why the request was wrong on so many levels. She didn't even know where to begin. She wondered whether he was being serious, but basing from his reaction and the overall idea she had gotten of him, she knew he really wasn't joking. "B-because, I'm a girl and you're a boy! And I don't even know you!"
"What has knowing me have anything to do with being able to wash me? And besides, you've already seen me naked, so what's the problem?" He was simply mystified by the problem she was making this out to be. "From where I come from-,"
"I don't care what they do 'from where you come from'," she mocked, "In fact, I don't even know where you're from!" Her eyes zeroed in on him and immediately he turned his head away from her.
"Fine!" he relented, not liking the direction she was steering the conversation in, "At least show me how to operate your bathing facilities if you won't wash me."
Figuring it would be pretty harmless to show him, she decided she would compromise. "Fine."
"You're really not gonna wash me?" He sulked.
He received her answer when she simply stood up and walked off to her small bathroom and he could do nothing more but follow.
Her apartment was so small it took him only several long strides to get to the bathroom, the final place that made up her cosy abode. She had a toilet, one basin and a shower head over the bath tub in the narrow space. Kneeling down and reaching over to the shower handles, she didn't look at him as she began a hasty explanation.
"This knob here is for the hot water, this one here is for the cold water." She made a point to direct her finger to each knob as she explained.
"Twist it like so," and water started running, "and play around with it until you get the temperature ri- WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" She all but screeched when she had turned her head to see Ichigo sitting on the edge of the bathtub.
In the brief time that she had to explain, Ichigo had managed to undress himself of his 'Zeus' robe and had proceeded to move to the edge of the bathtub, in all his naked glory, facing Rukia. She was eye-level with the nether regions of her companion and once again, she came face to face with his well-endowment. Literally. Her shriek was so sudden that Ichigo had quickly bolted into a standing position as though he had been burnt, his posture immediately tense and defensive.
"What? What'd I do?" He asked, unsure of what he did to warrant that reaction.
No amount of washing of the eyes would help her erase the image of Ichigo's thing so up close. Despite his unworldly blessed looks, it was still too much information in Rukia's opinion. "Why are you naked again?"
"Don't you get naked when you wash yourself?" If memory served him well, he was pretty certain humans too, bathed in the nude. But times could have changed, he couldn't be sure.
"Yes, but couldn't you have waited until I had left?" Her face was feeling so hot that she knew her blush was spreading to her ears and neck.
"Oh." He scratched his head sheepishly, "I guess."
"Just, can you please stand a little further away?" There was a desperate plea in her tone as she cringed to herself.
He had taken a few meager steps back while Rukia hurried through the details. The small space had never felt as small as it did then, and it was suffocating her. Her words went on auto-pilot as she spilled out gibberish. Glancing back at Ichigo, and she went that extra mile to zone in on his face and just his face, she noticed that he was gazing at her funny. And that was when it caught her attention.
It was slight, but it had moved. Risen.
"Stop! St- oh my god! How- w-why is it getting bigger?" She spluttered, her mind going completely code-red.
With the water still running, she impulsively started splashing water at him, as though the pathetic flicker of water droplets that barely reached him would remedy her situation.
His hands were quick to cover his indecency. "Well what did you expect?" He replied defensively, his pride severely wounded by her reaction, "We're in a small space and you're fixing my bath and I think you're pretty, I can't help it." He pondered whether he was more surprised or disappointed by her reaction. This usually wasn't the effect he had on women. And yeah he wasn't afraid to admit that he was kinda expecting her to feel flattered, privileged even.
She was done here. He could bathe with toilet water for all she cared now. There was only so much her sanity could take. "Okay fine! Just figure the rest out yourself. The soap is there, shampoo is there, towels are here and enjoy."
And then, he was met with the slamming of the door.
Rukia belly flopped onto her single bed and wished she could just call it a day. She still couldn't believe she was living this situation. For the most part, it felt like an out-of-body experience, like she had been watching her exhausted self relent to a stranger for the pure reason that she had basically lacked the energy to fight him. Maybe she was going through her first quarter life crisis at twenty-two. She heard a loud yelp and some cussing from the bathroom, but she remained face down and unmoving. There was nothing that could impel her to walk in on him in the shower, regardless of the amount of shouting in there. She had seen way more than her share of manly nakedness than she had in her last twenty-two years.
She would spend the next twenty-two repressing the memory of Ichigo and his 'hardness'.
The yelling and swearing finally died down, and she found she was able to wonder more about Ichigo. What foreign country could he be from that could differ from Japan so much? He had kept telling her that she wouldn't know even if he told her, but so many things simply didn't make sense. He was, for the most part, completely clueless about everything. Clueless, yet arrogant. Perhaps he really was so rich he had been sheltered from the ways of an average and ordinary lifestyle. Rukia shook her head against her bed and figured she didn't need to be so concerned by it, he would be out of her life by tomorrow and her life would revert back to its monotonous routine.
Lugging her heavy self up, she went to pull out a futon for Ichigo. She hoped that with the futon out, he would take the hint and go straight to sleep, that way, she would be safe from any more scarring moments. For such an amazingly good-looking man, she really thought it was a shame that he was not quite all there in the head. Moving her kotatsu away from her bed, she tossed the futon in the middle of her bedroom/living room and folded a blanket over it.
She heard the bathroom door open and found herself stealing a glance at him as she busied herself with picking at the fluff from the blanket. He was back into his 'Zeus' robe that now clung to him like a second skin. His hair was a wet mess atop his head, but he didn't care as he strolled out languidly, obviously not fazed by their recent encounter.
"Thanks Ruki." He smiled at her, and she didn't have the heart to correct him.
She didn't get to finish because he had cupped her small face with both hands, leaned in, closed his eyes and kissed her square on the lips – open mouth. For a microsecond, her brain, mind, thought process and breathing ability completely shut down. When she managed to reboot herself, her eyes bulged out before she shoved him, and his tongue, off of her.
"YOU PERVERT!" She accused, wiping her lips with momentum.
He subtly flinched like he was stung, "I'm just showing you my gratitude." He pouted, folding his arms across his chest. "From where I'm fr-," He stopped himself when Rukia eyed him warningly.
"You showed your gratitude when you said 'thanks Ruki', and it's Rukia." She spoke through a clenched jaw, still making a point to wipe at her lips.
"Fine." He brushed it off and bypassed her as though she was invisible and proceeded to spread himself over her bed.
Rukia's eye twitched, "What are you doing?" She was pretty sure at some point during his stay she was guaranteed to pop a vein.
"Sleeping?" He replied nonchalantly.
She pointed at the futon beneath her and tried to reign in her frustration, "You're sleeping here."
"That's okay," He shrugged, "I'll just sleep here, you don't have to go through so much trouble for me."
"Okayyy," She drawled out, her patience running dangerously thin. "well all the more reason for you to get off my bed." Her voice was quickly becoming strained as she willed her tolerance to hold out just a little longer.
"No." He replied flatly as he curled comfortably on the bed, "It looks uncomfortable down there, I prefer it here. What's the big deal, it's not like I'm saying I won't share with you." He spoke in a reasoning tone, which wasn't very reasoning at all.
"I'm not sleeping with you." She enunciated each word with clarity.
"I didn't mean sex."
"Neither did I." She shut him down dully.
"Oh." He mumbled slightly crestfallen, "Guess it's just plain old-fashion sleeping then." He sighed. "That solves that."
She wanted to throw the closest thing at him, and had that closest thing not been her television, he would've been knocked out in two seconds flat. "It solves nothing! I'm not going to share a bed with you."
"But there's enough room for two." He genuinely thought he was approaching this logically.
"It's a single bed." Where was the baseball bat when she needed it?
"We'll just have to hold each other then." He suggested.
"Are you sure?"
He shrugged and turned over on the bed, his back now facing her, "I guess I'll have to respect your decision then. Goodnight Ruk."
He didn't get to see Rukia's jaw hit the floor.
That bastard played me!
A shower, some night time snack, some teeth brushing and an hour and a half later, Rukia was fast asleep on the futon next to her bed. The winter nights were progressively getting colder so she had made sure to layer on the blankets. Tonight however, she found her sleep fitful and abnormally hot. She was vaguely aware that she was breaking out a sweat when the heat slowly woke her from her slumber, and when she opened her eyes, she wished she hadn't.
Rukia wondered which course of action would deliver the most desirable outcome in the shortest amount of time. 'Go back to sleep and pretend it wasn't happening' was the first to register in her once sleep-induced mind, but she found that with the amount of shock she was in, there was no way she could go back to sleep for the next week. 'Screaming' was a close second, but she figured with the time that it was, she really didn't need her neighbours making complaints about her. So that was scrapped. 'Ridding him of any chance of ever being a father' was calling at her, luring her like candy to children.
Any hesitation flew out the window when he snuggled closer.
At the age of twenty-two, on a winter's night, Rukia woke up to find an orange-haired stranger sleeping next to her, arms around her waist, legs draped over her legs, head tucked in the nape of her neck... and naked like the day he was born.
Kuchiki Rukia would send him to hell that night.
AN: In all my stories Ichigo's been a facebook stalking boyfriend, a mistaken gay man, the strongest captain in soul society and a King. So I thought what's bigger and better than all those characters combined? Well we don't know what he is just yet ;)
This may be left as a one-shot except I really do enjoy writing this, that's why for now I won't rule it off as complete just yet. It just depends on how much writing time I have.
Inspiration for writing this story came from some of the things reviewers have said to me in their feedback from other stories. What I took from it is the ability stories have to make a crappy day slightly less crappy. So to those who wished they never rolled out of bed today, hope this minutely made it worth your while.