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27 July 2009 @ 07:54 pm
Day 17 - Show-Off  
Title: Day 17 - Show-Off
Author: tasogaretaichou
Fandom: Bleach
Pairing: IchigoxRukia
Theme: #16 - Invincible/unrivaled
Disclaimer: Bleach =/= Mine

Metal struck bone with an eerie scrape as the black blade of Tensa Zangetsu impacted the harsh white smoothness of the Hollow's claws. Curling fingers, the creature let out a snarl of rage and anger at the biting steel before muscles tensed and it hurled the much smaller figure of the shinigami aside like swatting a fly. Seemingly unperturbed by the way he was flug aside like a ragdoll, Ichigo flipped in the air as he flew, swiveling to catch himself against the side of a building, the muscles of his legs bunching as he tensed to absorb the shock of his impact with the building.

Rukia watched as his amber eyes narrowed and his grip on the zanpakutou's hilt tightened almost imperceptively as he glared at the Hollow's cackling face from beneath shaggy orange fringe. Sighing inwardly, she felt her jaw tense as he vanished again from her vision with a sudden burst of reiatsu and a half-visible flash of black and red silk. Whether the hollow noticed or not was rather a moot point. What it did notice was the sharp cut of the blade into it's forearm. Recoiling back with a howl of pain as the obsidian edge traced a spray of crimson across the meat of it's limb, the Hollow reacted with incredible speed, striking out with it's good arm at the black and orange figure attacking it.

Idiot, just finish it. If you keep playing around you'll get hurt!

Tapping the fingers of one hand irritatedly against Sode no Shirayuki's saya, she took another moment to fume inwardly at the situation. She should have seen it coming, should have known something was up when he'd had such a sudden and unexpected spurt of generosity, offering -- and out of nowhere, to boot -- to take her to the mall this afternoon and buy her that new Chappy sketchbook she'd seen last week in the store window. She wasn't stupid, and despite the way their relationship had changed that didn't mean she had any illusions that her orange-headed human boyfriend was going to change and be anything other than the obstinate and oft ill-tempered prick he tended to be. At least he willingly referred to her as his girlfriend now, even if it was only to menace off any other male in the vicinity who attempted to speak with her. And yet somehow, all the warning flags that came along with the idea of Kurosaki Ichigo willingly offering to spend his money on anything Chappy-related had failed to register and she'd looked up at his questioning face with bright eyes and a happy smile and a nod.

It was only when that smug, satisfied grin spread across his face that she took a mental step back from her Chappy-induced euphoria and realized the complete and total idiocy of what she'd just done. She'd listened, seething with anger that he'd managed to dupe her so easily, as he'd dropped the other half of the "agreement"

"Fine. Then the next time we go hunting, I'll take care of it myself. You just watch."

She'd known it for what it was, a machoistic attempt to take all the glory and show off just how much he'd improved since those days so long ago wrapped up with his typical need to keep anything, everything, and everyone he cared about out of harms' way by taking on all the danger himself. It was the same thing they argued about, the same tired old routine she tried to beat out of his head every time he tried to insist that he didn't need help, didn't need her to back him up. It was times like those, usually after he did something stupid, that they'd have their worst fights. The fights when their normal bickering -- that either of them would readily attest didn't really mean anything -- gave way to real anger and they spent the rest of the night not speaking. Those were the nights where he stayed on the roof or stalked off in a fury and she either shut herself up in Yuzu and Karin's room, spent the night wandering Karakura or returned to Soul Society.

And this time, it seemed as though he'd actually taken the time to find a way around it. Even if she complained and argued with him, he could always shove her own agreement back in her face. Smug jerk. He was getting entirely too good at figuring her out.

At Ichigo's yell of pain, she half-crouched, fingers clenching tighter around the white-wrapped hilt. Gritting her teeth, she watched with widening eyes as razor-edged claws cleaved their way through black silk, catching him off guard as they sank into his back with a sickening sound. She flinched only slightly at the sudden crimson splattering of blood across the pavement, mentally preparing to jump in -- damn his pride and that idiotic machoist showing off -- whether he wanted her to or not. It was a desire that only grew rapidly stronger as Ichigo's form slammed into the pavement.

Dammit, you moron!

She was on her feet, reiatsu pressing in a quick shunpou that sent her racing towards him, Sode no Shirayuki's pendant ribbon streaming out behind her. Damn him, and damn whatever egotistical bullshit he'd developed recently to make him feel the need to pull a stunt like this. In fact, cursing his name right now seemed an apt pastime, even more so as he managed to roll over on his back and send the point of Zangetsu's blade slicing upwards with a wet thock as he plunged it into the Hollow's open maw, sending the blade punching straight through the back of it's throat and out the rear of it's head. With a grunt of effort, he wrenched the blade up, twisting it and yanking backwards to cleave the Hollow's head in two.
Time seemed to slow down for a moment, breathing harsher and colours surreal and bleeding into the world around them as she watched the Hollow's corpse fall, disintegrating into a wash of sparkling light as the souls it had consumed were freed, traveling on to Soul Society. Ichigo himself lay still for a moment, breathing heavily before he pushed himself up with a grunt of pain, standing up and fingering the ragged remains of his kosode. The material over his back was practically ribbons, ends hanging down in blood-soaked tatters to drip fat droplets of vermilion onto the pavement. His back itself hadn't fared much better, the deep rents weeping sanguine fluid across his skin. Grimacing, he poked a finger at one of the gashes, obviously giving into the time-honoured male tradition of "it hurts, I should poke it to see if it hurts MORE" before fixing her with a roguish grin. Obviously, he -- like most men in such a situation -- seemed to think he'd just done something uncomparably cool.

She gave him about 5 seconds before her tightly-balled fist impacted solidly with the point of his chin -- she'd have punched him in the face if she'd been able to reach it -- carried along with her angry exclamation. Caught completely off-guard, he let out a startled oaf and stumbled backwards to land flat on his back on the ground. Injured flesh met concrete with a thud, echoed by a yelp of pain before he clambered to his feet and turned a nigh-murderous gaze on her.

"The fuck was that for?!"

She answered him with another left hook to his jaw, though he managed to catch this one, tightening his longer fingers around her small fist and holding on. Small lot of good it did him, she still had the full use of her other arm, as well as both legs. Slamming a foot into his shin, she wrenched her hand free and took two steps back to stand there, hands clenched by her sides.

"You idiot! That was the stupidest, most bone-headed, moronic thing you have ever done!! You could have died! And for WHAT?! So you can salve your damned ego?!"

An angry Rukia was nothing new. A Rukia angry enough that she was shaking, head down and shoulders trembling with the fierceness of her emotions? That was something new. Like most men, when confronted by such a thing, Ichigo did the only thing he knew of to do. He stood there and stared like a stranded fish, taking in the small tremors in her shoulders, the way her teeth were gritted against what he assumed was the overwhelming urge to render him as he'd rendered the Hollow so recently. Frowning -- really, the hell was wrong with women anyway? -- he opened his mouth to retort back and was caught off-guard as he saw her mouth move just slightly, the words hushed and faint.

"Idiot.... what if you'd died? I'd...."

Blinking back his confusion, he took a closer look at the way her lower lip was caught between her teeth, at the way she stubbornly refused to look up at him, a rather startling revelation beginning to make it's way into the back of his mind. Rukia wasn't angry. She was afraid. Afraid of what might have happened to him, of the possibilities. And that in and of itself was something so strange that he nearly laughed out loud. Rukia? Afraid?

He certainly wasn't so much of a jerk -- or an idiot -- to assume that Kuchiki Rukia didn't feel fear, but he couldn't think of a time in his memory when she'd been visably shaken over something having to do with him. Sure, he was reckless at times, and he couldn't deny the fact that it was significantly due to sheer luck that his head was still attached to his shoulders. Looking down at her, he tried to summon up the usual sarcastic remarks about how he was fine, and my god was she going to cry or something, the sorts of things that he normally got kicked for. Only... she actually looked like she might really cry.

Awkwardly scratching the back of his head, he pondered the strangeness not only of the entire situation, but of the fact that the more he looked at her, the more he felt bad about it. Maybe it was something to do with women, or with this whole 'relationship' thing, but whichever one it was, he was starting to feel more and more like an ass as he stood there bleeding all over the place in front of her. She wasn't doing anything, which likely meant that he was supposed to be doing something. Only... he really didn't know what he was supposed to do.

"Rukia, I....."

Going mostly based on his gut instinct -- which he was ready to write off as hopeless anyway, so at least he wasn't losing anything by trusting it -- he took a step closer, sliding an arm around her shoulders to draw her closer to him, glancing around as if to make certain no one else could see. Probably ridiculous, since it was unusual for anyone to actually see them like this, him out of his body and her without the gigai, but still. With the spiritual level of Karakura always fluctuating, it was a bit much to assume things like that. Satisfied that any bystanders were blissfully unaware, he dropped his head to brush lips against the top of her head with a whisper.

"I'm sorry..."

She leaned against him for a moment, the fingers of one hand curling into the damp black silk of his coat as her forehead pressed against his chest. Staring down at her with some degree of trepidation -- Rukia couldn't necessarily be counted on not to beat him, and he was terrified of what to do if she really did cry -- he let out a careful breath as no explosive response seemed to be forthcoming. Feeling the tension leave his shoulders, he dropped one hand onto her shoulder, ready to make a teasing remark, only to feel the wind leave his lungs in a painful burst as it was propelled thusly by the sudden and abrupt application of her fist to his diaphragm. At least... he thought it was her fist. Whatever it was, it was hard and unyielding and as the stars exploded across his vision and he gasped for breath, he overheard her angry muttering as she stalked off.

"You should be."