I do not own Bleach, or any of its characters.
"Rukia," he muttered, leaning his forehead against the door.
There was no answer but he could hear her breathing. It was fast and sharp, catching in her chest and heaving at her throat. Her mind was in disarray; he could tell she was confused. More than confused, she was lost.
He had been brash and reckless, and he had scared her.
"Rukia, open the door," he begged. "Please."
"No," came the answer from the inside of his… her closet. "Leave me alone."
"You know I can't do that. Come out of the damn closet!" he banged his fist on the door.
"No!" she shouted back, vehemently.
They were silent for a while.
Ichigo's fist rested clenched against the smooth surface of the door. He could have opened it himself, but he wanted her to come to him herself. He needed her to take the next step.
He, himself, was a little confused as to how this had happened. He remembered ice cream. He remembered teasing. He remembered smiles. He remembered friendly arguments. He remembered the words pouring out of his mouth, like it was the only right thing to say at that moment. He remembered her expression before she ran away without a word.
He would admit to having been a downright idiot in the last hour or so.
All because of a girl.
All because of the girl hiding in his closet.
He normally would not have cared. It was not that he did not like girls—he just had other things to think about. He did not care for anything more than friendship with any girl at that point in his life. He would look, he would speak, he would befriend, and for anything deeper, girls could wait.
But Rukia evoked things in him he never knew he could feel. She made him pay attention. She made him listen. Damn it, she got to him. She got him. She made him impatient.
He could not wait, with Rukia.
It was different, with Rukia.
"You're a real pain in the ass, you know?" he said quietly.
"Right back at you," she answered.
He sighed, and leant against the door, his back propped against the solid surface.
"I know it seems like it's coming out of nowhere. But I have been thinking about this for a long time," he said.
When there was no answer on the other side, he softly added—"It was not how I planned to say it. I know I should've been more… Well, less abrupt. Ease you into it."
A shaky sigh.
He could tell she was right behind him on the other side of that door. Her head would have been leaning against his back if not for the barrier between them. He could have held her. Or just let her rest against him. Stupid door. Stupid Rukia. Stupid him.
"You're going to have to take it back," she whispered.
Her voice barely made it through the hurdle between them, but her words reached him.
"What?" he frowned. "No."
"Yes," Rukia insisted, and he could imagine her looking up at him, her violet orbs full of upset and plea. "Yes. You can't say things like that."
"I believe I did," Ichigo replied. "And I'm going to say it again. Be my girlfriend, Rukia."
"Be my girlfriend, Rukia," he said again, turning towards the door. "Let's be together."
"It was not a request, in case you had not noticed."
Romance was not his style.
It just was not the kind of person he was. He was not going to go into a yearlong speech about how or why or when. He was not going to burst into a soliloquy about his feelings for her. If she knew him as well as he suspected she did, there was no need for explanations. He was not going to start one of those twisted flirting games with her to test the waters. He was not going to court her with money, love songs and poems.
He did not have to do that, and he didn't have to consider whether she was right for him or not. He already knew. And in his mind, it was easy.
He had identified what he needed, had acknowledged that he wanted it and now, he was going to take it.
He wanted her.
He would have her.
"You cannot just order people to be with you!" Rukia said, the tone of her voice escalating. "Least of all a Kuchiki!"
Those damned actions one could never take against a Kuchiki were going to be the end of him, someday.
"Her Majesty does not want to be with me?"
"But you want to."
"Of course not!"
"I know you do," Ichigo said, unperturbed. "You are just scared."
"What? I'm not scared, you fool!"
"Then what? Are you trying to follow stupid rules?"
"They are not stupid!"
"They are if they prevent you from doing what you want!" Ichigo replied.
"You mean if they prevent you from getting what you want," she retorted. He could almost see her set jaw and her deep scowl as she said those words.
"You want it too."
"I do not!"
"I cannot to be your girlfriend. I do not want be your girlfriend," she said after a while. "I will not be yours. You cannot have me. Take it back, Ichigo."
He could not have her? That was funny. Heaven and Hell would have to join forces to stop him from getting what he wanted. He was curious to see how she would stop him. Especially when he was certain she wanted what he wanted.
He "cannot have" her. Bullshit.
He grunted and scowled. "Come out of there and say it to my face."
"Is it what it will take for this madness to end?"
"You do realise how awkward you have made us become."
There she was already blaming things on him.
So he was the only one to blame? Was it all his own doing now?
It sure as hell was not his fault she was so infuriating, and so skilled at getting under people's skin… and staying there! It was not his fault she had found a way to plant seeds in his heart, that had grown roots so deep that no amount of ploughing could unearth! And was it his damn fault now, that she smelt like summer breeze and winter flowers, and looked so damn good all the time? And what about those annoying, hypnotising eyes? Why did they have to look at him that way? And that ivory smooth skin, was that his fault too? Did it have to look so inviting? Let's not forget that disgustingly heart-stopping smile.
Yeah. Trust Rukia to shove all the blame on him!
But of course he knew there was no turning back from there. He had spent weeks thinking about it. And he had decided he was not going to be the coward who watches and longs for the girl he wants.
He was not going to let Rukia be an unanswered question.
That was no crime.
"I'd rather it be awkward than live in doubt. Come out," he said quietly.
He shuffled on his feet, standing at his full height and waited for the beige door to slide open. After a while, there was a crack, and the wheels rolled upon themselves when she finally opened the door.
She gracefully jumped out of the closet, eased the creases on her dress and stood in front of him, proud and polished. A true Kuchiki. She was so tiny he could have scooped her up easily right then and there. And that would have been the end of it.
Except she would probably have kicked or punched him. Yes, she would have punched him for sure.
She did not wait for him to say anything.
"I cannot be your girlfriend," she said.
"But I want you."
"You just don't get it," he said. "I won't back off. You will need a heck of a good reason for me to accept your no's when I know you want to say yes. What is holding you back? I know there's no one else."
Or was there? A jealous, possessive streak suddenly passed through Ichigo. Was there someone he wasn't aware of?
"There is no one," she said dismissively.
He knew that. No one's jealous and over-thinking.
"It's not about there being someone else. We just can't be together," she finished, looking at the ground.
"Look at me when you say it."
She clenched her small hands into fists. The tension went up to her shoulders, and when she looked up at him, her brows were knitted and her eyes were full of anger.
"We cannot be together!" she all but shouted.
There was a short silence.
"You are so loud, for such a small thing," he said, sighing as the shock of her outburst subsided.
Her shoulders relaxed, and the anger on her face was replaced by dubiety. How could he be so nonchalant, when she was barely controlling her emotions? He knew that was what she was thinking.
The answer was simple: it was because he was confident that they had something. And one way or another, they were going to be together. Whether they could or not.
"You are so full of shit, for someone begging to be my boyfriend."
"Who's begging?" he said. "I told you—it's not a request. You cannot ask for what's already yours."
"Like hell I'm yours," she huffed, crossing her thin arms over her chest and looking away offended.
Ichigo said nothing, just closed the distance between them in a large stride. She put her hands up against his chest to push him away but froze when he touched her chin. He turned her head towards him, forcing her to look up at him.
"Hell yeah, you're mine."
Note: Ending this mindless, random writing here for now. It is a two-part story, so it has another part (that still needs polishing). Thank you for reading! Reviews are always appreciated as well...