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30 January 2009 @ 11:25 pm
Day 10 - Nightly Wanderings  
Title: Day 10 - Nightly Wanderings
Author/Artist: tasogaretaichou
Pairing: Kurosaki Ichigo x Kuchiki Rukia
Fandom: Bleach
Theme: #24: Good Night
Disclaimer: Bleach isn't mine


Glancing up at the chipper voice, it took only a mere second of thought to smooth her face into the charming mask she normally wore around them, mouth turning up into a demure little smile as she nodded cheerfully towards Yuzu's equally-amiable face. Carefully picking up the slim pink bit of plastic topped with stylized rabbit ears, Rukia slid the bookmark into place between the pages of her manga before setting the volume down on the shelf that had been conveniently set up at the end of her bed.

"Goodnight, Yuzu-chan."

Smile still plastered onto her face, she made certain to go through the motions, as she did every night. Put the book away, squirm her way beneath the sheets and flannel coverlet with an appropriately girly purr of contentment, and roll over onto her side before pretending to drift off to sleep the way the two young girls did every night.

Closing her eyes, Rukia waited, listening as the soft sounds of breathing settled into the even, slow rhythm of sleep. Letting out her own breath in a sigh, she rolled back over onto her back, violet eyes staring up at the ceiling as she folded arms behind her head. She couldn't ever seem to get used to this. Not just the pretending -- she was, to her distaste, getting very used to that -- but rather, to the simple fact of sleeping in here.

It was amusing, she supposed, and despite the fact that it galled her to admit it, even to herself, Rukia couldn't truly deny one simple fact. She'd gotten used to sleeping in Ichigo's closet. Wrenching the pillow out from under her head with a groan, she pulled it down over her face in a gesture of exasperation. It didn't make any sense. Her "bed" in his room had been a closet. And not the sort of "closet" that one used to refer to a room that was simply too small for any sane person to reasonably choose to inhabit, but a real, honest-to-god closet. The kind that you stored clothes in.

It was ridiculous to be attached to a closet.

Stubbornly ignoring that portion of her mind -- the part that had been steadily gaining ground over the last week and a half -- which seemed rather wont to point out the fact that, were she not so fixated on the closet, she might have acquiesed that it was not the closet itself that was appealing, but rather the view from it's cracked doors.

With another sigh, Rukia pulled the pillow away from her face, seeing as gratifying suffocation didn't seem to be working. Leaning her head back, she chewed on her lower lip, again thoughtfully contemplating the ceiling above. It wasn't even that it was all that hard to concede to the fact that she did, in fact, enjoy his company, or that with the way things were now, it wasn't something she really had to hide. It was just... habit, really. A habit she'd developed over the length of time she'd spent with him, keeping all of those emotions and feelings under wraps.

She missed watching him sleep.

That thought came unbidden to her mind and she scowled and shooed it back to it's proper place in the back of her mind with a sigh. Who the hell was she kidding, anyway? She might as well just get over herself and admit -- only to herself, there was no way in hell she was telling him -- that she would prefer to stay in his room. ...With him.

Rolling over onto her stomach, the petite shinigami took a moment to mentally curse the orange-head in the other room. Of course, this was all his fault. If he hadn't made such a fuss, she could have just kept on sleeping in his closet instead of having to come up with that crazy story and get an excuse to stay here.

Bare feet touched the carpet softly as she sat up, hanging her legs over the edge to stand up, careful to lift her slight form slowly enough so as to not jar the bed. Rukia wasn't sure that the soft creaking of the bedsprings would be enough to rouse either of the twins from their slumber, but it wasn't really a chance she felt like taking. Especially not when her destination wasn't the window. It didn't really matter if they woke up and found her gone, she could just lie and tell them that she'd been restless and gone up onto the roof to sit for awhile. Besides, it wasn't as though they didn't know perfectly well that not only she, but Ichigo as well, tended to retreat to that shingled hideaway from time to time. But finding her creeping through the house like some sort of criminal was a different story entirely.

Moving slowly, she edged her way down the narrow "aisle" that separated the side of her bed from the side of Yuzu's bed, feet sliding in a sideways, shuffling motion as she shifted her weight, easing her form along the distance. That obstacle dealt with, it was child's play to stealthily creep to the door and slip out without hardly shifting the wooden panel's weight at all.

Tiptoeing down the hallway, she paused in front of the door at the end of the hall, standing there and staring at the knob as though unsure of whether she wanted to dare to touch it or not. Taking a step forward, she pressed her ear against the door, leaning into it as though somehow "sleep" translated through wood. Although if she were to judge by the somewhat muffled snoring that greeted her ears, perhaps it did. Leaning a tad bit more, she nearly let out a bleat of surprise as the door suddenly swung open, sending her stumbling through the now-open passage and into his darkened room. Biting her lip against the litany of choice phrases that bubbled up in her throat as she nearly landed face-first in the middle of Ichigo's floor, the dark-haired girl resettled her dignity about herself and turned back to the door, pressing it closed again. Hopefully it would stay that way this time.

At least no one woke up...

Turning her face back towards the bed, and the figure sprawled across it, she mentally thanked whatever deities might be listening that he hadn't woken up. Sure, the snoring had abated, but his breathing was just as even, just as relaxed as it had been before. Standing frozen for a few moments, she waited, smiling slightly to herself as the soft groaning began to pick up again, though thankfully -- hey, she was going to have to sleep with this -- it wasn't acheiving the same levels of volume as his earlier snores had been. Running a hand through her hair, she carefully made her way over towards the closet, sliding the door open just enough for her to fit inside. Her "bed" was still there, he'd never bothered to move the blankets and small folding mattress that she'd kept in there, all she'd need to do was unfold them again.

Pulling the pieces of her bed together, she lifted one leg up, knee resting on the edge of the dresser, and then stopped. Glancing back over her shoulder, she let her eyes trace carefully over his sleeping form, her expression softening slightly. It was ironic, in a way, the things love could do to you. The way it could make you want, even just for a moment, to let down all those barriers. Even if he still couldn't say it, if she still didn't always know how to express it, somehow none of that mattered in light of the fact that at least they both knew it now. Stepping back, she made her way over to the side of the bed, stopping by his face.

He looked so different like this, when he was relaxed and sleeping. All the scowling and anger and antisocial tendancies erased from his face, returning it to what she could only assume he would have looked like awake, had life not panned out the way it had for him. Smiling slightly, she knelt down beside him, reaching out to brush stray strands of orange bangs from his forehead with gentle fingertips before leaning in to press her lips softly against his for a moment.

"I love you, strawberry."

Getting to her feet, she stood watching him for a moment before turning to head back to the closet.\

"I'm not a damn strawberry."

His voice alerted her the moment before his hand wrapped around her wrist, his grip tight but still gentle. Not enough to harm her, or even really keep her there had she truly wanted to go, but enough to communicate that he obviously wanted her to stay. Swallowing, she barely had time to try and formulate a response before he gave a tug on her arm and all but dragged her into the bed with him, tucking her head under his chin and wrapping arms around her smaller form.

"Go to sleep already. It's what you came in here for, isn't it?"

Dark eyebrows drew together as she considered exactly what to call him and exactly what portion of his anatomy she should attack first, but then she sighed and shook her head slightly. What was the point in denying it, anyway? It was rare enough for him to volunteer this sort of contact -- hell, he was probably still half-asleep and didn't realize what he was doing anyway -- and she'd have to admit it would be rather stupid to look a gift horse in the mouth, whatever that meant. Either way, she liked it, and considering the way things were between them now, why should she have to pretend otherwise. Chuckling slightly, she squirmed slightly, resituating herself with her head against his shoulder.

"Yeah, I did. So shut up about it."
connaka: ichiruki » together 'til the endconnaka on March 20th, 2009 06:42 pm (UTC)

(Deleted comment)
Neko-taichoutasogaretaichou on April 10th, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC)
Lol, well you've found it now. Please feel free to browse through all my stuff, you can find it either in my memories or through the link on my sidebar.
pogopogo2468 on April 30th, 2009 08:52 pm (UTC)
Awww, so lovely <3 I miss the days when Rukia slept in Ichi's closet.

Anyway, this is really sweet and a very in-character Rukia. Great job :)