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01 July 2009 @ 08:52 pm
 
Worked on this for awhile at work, and ultimately finished it.

Title: Day 2: Sidewalk Tunes
Author: tasogaretaichou
Fandom: Bleach
Pairing: IchigoxRukia
Theme: #12 - In a good mood
Disclaimer: Bleach is not mine.


Had she been thinking, really thinking, and not simply letting her mind wander through the clouds as it was want to do in some circumstances, the girl might have realized how unusual it must have seemed to those around her for Kuchiki Rukia to be whistling. Indeed, had she turned her mind towards the concept at all, she likely would have ceased the unconscious habit and muttered somethng to herself about appearances and making a fool of herself. But then, that was the entire point. That she wasn't thinking, wasn't considering the ramifications of walking down the sidewalk whistling a little tune, as if she hadn't a care in the world. She did, as did everyone who lived -- though calling what she did 'living' was really rather ironic when you considered the fact that she was, in fact, dead -- but those cares seemed far away now, forgotten on some back-burner of her mind as the petite girl pranced along the walkway with an extra spring in her step.

Rukia herself hadn't noticed, hadn't taken the time to register the extra little twinkle in her eye, the way the lilting tune of her half-hum, half-whistle tended to move in time to her light steps, or the way every motion seemed to have a little flourish to it, as though she danced to music only she could hear. Had anyone stopped to point out the fact that not only did she have a rather dopey grin on her face, but that she was nearly skipping as she wandered from store to store, she would have flatly told them they were out of their mind.The whistling was simply due to the music that wafted out of several of the stores, and only then because if she tried to ignore it, it would invariably wind up stuck in her head.

Pausing at the next storefront to study her reflection, Rukia frowned, leaning in and fingering her hair for a moment before studying the outfit she had picked out this afternoon. It was Friday, and seeing as it was the weekend already, she'd taken the opportunity to head downtown after classes let out, in search of something new to wear. She hadn't had anything new in awhile, and even though her brother was completely unconcerned as to the money she spent during her time in the living world -- as far as she knew, he had enough money that he hardly cared what she spent -- it was still in her nature to be frugal. That habit, easily developed in Rukongai, where everything was scarce, had easily transformed itself into a sense of duty to the clan that took her in, an unwillingness to take advantage of their generosity in any way, including monetarily.

But all that aside, she'd still wanted something new, and to her great delight, the first shop she had stepped into had provided. And it had even been in her size too, circumventing the oft-frustrating problem she dealt with during shopping. The mint-green chiffon dress was a little frillier than she was used to, but she'd liked the cool crispness of the colour, and the way the fabric felt so soft against her skin. And even the cutout back -- which Kuchiki Byakuya would have undoubtably considered scandalous -- hadn't phased her so much when she'd tried the dress on and been delighted at the way the ruffled sleeves fluttered with her every gesture. Rukia wasn't really what anyone could have called "girly". Even though she wore dresses most of the time, things that tended towards bows, ribbons, or frills generally didn't suit her. She wasn't like Inoue or Hinamori-fukutaichou, all sweet-faced and gentle, suited towards those softer things. But in spite of that, she liked the dress, and that had been enough to cement her decision.

Another store, about a block and a half down the road, had provided adorable white slingback sandals with a low heel to go with the dress, but it was when she'd found the pretty silver clip that now rested at the nape of her neck, it's teeth containing ebony strands of hair, that she'd decided to give her new outfit a test run. Slipping into the shop's fitting room, she'd stripped off her school uniform and into the dress, allowing herself a momentary girlish sense of glee at the swish of the skirt around her legs as she'd headed back out of the store.

She'd thought it looked nice, and that was really all that mattered, but still.... it never hurt to take a second look. Twirling around in front of the glass, she grinned at her reflection, letting her mind wander back over the day. It had been a good day, and not just for the simple fact that today had boasted a notable lack of Hollows or Arrancar or any of those other things that tended to interrupt the normal flow of things. She'd gotten the Chappy trinket in the box of crackers from her lunch, and not only had it been the final -- and most favourite -- one for her collection of the things, but she'd gotten to see the satisfying way Ichigo's eyes had bugged out of his head and he'd nearly choked on the mouthful of food he was chewing when she'd let out a girlish squeal of glee at her prize. He'd sputtered for a few moments before fixing her with his usual glare and snarling at her to cut that out before she unintentionally scared someone to death. It was typical Ichigo, but for some reason she'd eschewed her normal response and instead simply stuck her tongue out at him and told him she didn't care.

Which had obviously unsettled him even further, as he'd looked at her as though she'd grown another head, mumbled something she couldn't make out, and returned his attention to his lunch. Rukia herself had simply shrugged and gone back to studying the tiny figurine on it's little base. Only... her thoughts hadn't stayed on Chappy's darling little ears or meticulously painted face. Instead, they'd turned inward, back to the evening before.

Back to Ichigo. She'd felt her cheeks heat up slightly, and inwardly cut off the thoughts, sealing them back in the box where they belonged. Only.... they didn't really have to stay in the box, at least not the way they had before. It wasn't as though she had to pretend any longer, had to keep it to herself and deny what she'd known to be true for so long. He knew, as she knew, and now.... well, now things were different. And despite the fact that 'different' scared the hell out of her and made her at times almost afraid to even look at him, there wasn't any sort of denying that since their kiss on the rooftop, she'd just been... happy.

It was odd, in a way, to feel somehow untroubled. As though most of the things she worried about, those things that normally sat at the forefront of her mind had simply lifted up and flown away like butterflies in the summer air. As if some kind of invisible weight on her shoulders had been lifted, and now that it had -- even though nothing had really changed all that much, she didn't think -- it was just easier to smile.

Giving in to the strange -- she found it downright disturbing, in a way -- urge to skip slightly as she walked, Rukia teetered on one foot for a moment, shifting her weight and almost twirling as she fluffed the skirt of her dress momentarily before continuing on her way.

"The hell are you doing?"

She stopped short, glancing up at the familiar scowling face crowned by spikey orange hair. He was leaning against the streetlight, the setting sun glancing off his face as he narrowed his eyes at her in obvious distaste -- or confusion -- at her persistent lively mood. For just a moment, Rukia felt the heat rise up in her face, the nervous fluttering in her belly as she fought the momentary urge to pull the facade up again. Catching her lower lip in her teeth, she let violet eyes shift up towards him, catching the faint wash of colour on his face as his own amber-brown eyes shifted nervously away from her. And somehow, the fact that she could tell -- how she hadn't been able to before was a mystery she'd puzzle out another time -- that the still so recent changes to their relationship made him as nervous as they did her, made so much of her own aggitation melt away.

Grinning slightly, she raised her eyebrows and simply pranced right past him with a superior expression and a flip of night-black hair.

"Wouldn't you like to know~."