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Title: Stubborn?

Fandom: Bleach

Pairing: Ichigo/Rukia

Spoilers: It takes place after the Soul Society arc, so yeah, a little.

Author's Notes: Kay. This is my first sneezefic, so constructive criticism is welcome and encouraged. And everything in italics, besides the sneezes, is inside Rukia's head.


Rukia sat crosslegged on the ground, sipping idly from a juicebox. The straw stuck to her lips for a second as she savored the artificial, yet so very refreshing, fruity flavor. The chilly early winter wind whipped her black hair harshly around her face. She turned her head away from the gust to try and avoid this, but it only served to mess her hair more. It was starting to get a little colder out, and Rukia wished that the high school didn’t force her and the other female students to continue wearing the short, pleated skirts that were part of the mandatory uniform. She was absolutely convinced that whomever created the dress code was some perverted old man, and she reckoned that she would do anything for a pair of Ichigo’s warm jeans right about now.

That sounds awkward
, Rukia thought to herself, shaking her head as if it would help rid her mind of that thought. She wasn’t thinking of it that way, right? Of course she didn’t want to wear
jeans, exactly, she just wanted
pair of jeans. Because girls only wore a guy’s pants if the guy in question was said girl’s boyfriend. That was one of the many interesting things that Rukia had learned from reading manga. And Ichigo was definitely not her boyfriend. Absolutely not. She didn’t even
him that way, and she was positive he didn’t like her that way either.


Dragged harshly from her thoughts, Rukia’s head snapped to her right. Speaking of Ichigo, he was sitting crosslegged as well on the ground, his half-finished lunch in front of him and his hands covering the lower half of his face. “Bless you,” Rukia said, expertly concealing the surprise from her voice.

"Thanks,” her spiky-haired friend replied, sniffing and furrowing his eyebrows back together in an ever-present scowl.

It wasn’t like Rukia had never heard Ichigo sneeze before. She had known him for a while now, and heard him sneeze a handful of times. But she could never quite get over how quiet, and well…
his sneezes were. Ichigo was definitely not quiet, and was even further away from being delicate. Outside of school, at least, he was loud, cocky and quick to argue. And she had witnessed first hand, on many occasions, how strong he was. And it wasn’t that his sneezes didn’t suit him either, because they did, which confused and intrigued Rukia even more and left her in a bit of a daze.

Snapped out of her thoughts for the second time that lunch period, she heard the distinctive ringing of the school’s bell, which signaled the end of lunch. She and Ichigo stood up and began walking to class, and the matter dropped from Rukia’s mind.

That is, until the next day.

It was Saturday afternoon, and Rukia was sitting at Ichigo’s dining room table, writing on a large, white poster board in magic marker. ‘Magic’ wasn’t exactly an appropriate name for the utensil, she observed. It couldn’t heal anything, it wasn’t very useful as a defense mechanism, and they only way it could attack was if you chucked it, very hard, at your opponent’s head. It seemed the only purpose it served was to make marks on paper like a pencil, but in bold colors. And it squeaked when you used it. The odd objects of the living world never failed to amuse her.

Rukia finished writing a fact about the diet of the extinct Saber-toothed cat, when she looked up to see Ichigo returning from the bathroom for what seemed like the tenth time that day. Her and Ichigo had began to work on their biology assignment earlier, and she found that the single sneeze Ichigo had emitted at yesterday’s lunch was a warning sign of the head cold he would become afflicted with. About twice an hour, he would excuse himself to use the bathroom, and from behind the closed door Rukia could hear the muffled, yet increasingly desperate sound of Ichigo blowing his congested nose.

But not that Rukia was keeping track, or anything. She couldn’t even believe that Ichigo was actually
. She had always thought that he was immune to such things as the common cold. But he, he who had defeated two Soul Society captains, he who had achieved Ban Kai in three days when it took most
ten years
, he who had risked his life over and over again for her, he who had almost
more times than she wanted to believe…was now struggling to hold his own against a tiny virus.


It was a lost cause.

Rukia looked at her friend, who had resumed his seat beside her at the table, as he turned away from her with his hands once again over his face. He looked back up and sniffled deeply, then continued to work on the essay he was trying to write. Rukia frowned. He was beginning to look and sound worse. His red-rimmed eyes and nose clashed with his bright-orange hair and his sniffling was taking on a consistent rhythm.

Poor guy
, Rukia thought, then silently scolded herself. She wasn’t feeling bad for him. She wasn’t supposed to. Right? She was supposed to be concentrating on the project. Ichigo didn’t need people feeling bad for him, it was just a cold and he would get over it soon enough.

“Heh…heh-kissh! H’kisshuu!”

Rukia couldn’t help herself. Of course she felt bad for him, he must have been feeling terrible. He had sneezed fourteen times already! Or something like that. It’s not like she was counting or anything.


Yes, Rukia had to work on the project. She would not let her mind wander anymore. She would be a homework-finishing bundle of concentration from here on out. She picked up a pencil and began drawing on the poster.

The sneeze snuck up on Ichigo so fast that he barely had time to cover his face, never mind turn away from Rukia. His whole body seemed to lurch forward with the force of it, and Rukia, whose concentration had been easily broken, looked up in time to see it. Her friend’s soft bangs flopped over his eyes from the quick motion, and he sniffled again and wiped his nose with the back of his hand.


NO. She didn’t just think that! Rukia felt a small stab of panic and embarrassment jolt through her stomach. She did not think of him like that! He was just a friend. A very good friend, yes, one that she felt a unique closeness to even, one that she felt that, from the very first time she met him, she could trust completely. But that was it. A friend. And one does
think that their opposite-gender friends were cute. It was a rule, wasn’t it? She never thought Renji was cute, even when they were little kids and had stubby legs and high voices and-

“What are you doing?”

Ichigo’s stern voice ripped through Rukia’s bubble of thought.
When am I going to stop drifting?
He was looking at her with a quizzical expression on his face, along with the scowl that he never failed to wear-
almost like undergarments. Oh god, not undergarments!
-even though the severity of it was dampened by the dark circles under his eyes. He had caught her staring at him! Would he be angry? What kind of excuse would she use?

“I thought I said you weren’t allowed to draw anything on that.” He gestured towards the pencil in Rukia’s hand and the small doodle she was making. “Your drawings suck.”

Thank the stars~!
She could have let out a sigh of relief. He hadn’t even
that she was staring after all, her secret was safe…

“My drawings do NOT suck,” Rukia replied angrily, her normal determined personality shining through again. “This is very good depiction of a saber-tooth kitten.”

Ichigo rubbed his nose and leaned closer to the poster on the table, squinting his eyes at the cartoon. “It looks like a monkey with some kind of disorder.”

“How dare you babble such nonsense insults!” Rukia fired back.

Ichigo opened his mouth to continue the argument, but a different expression etched into his features, and he was turning his head away from Rukia once more.

Rukia mentally kicked herself. How could she argue with him at a time like this? He was sick after all. And it wasn’t like it was the first time he had ever insulted her drawings before. She was beginning to realize herself that her artistic abilities were limited, and she mostly argued just to play along lately. But right now wasn’t the time to argue.
Abrupt switch to concern mode.

“Ichigo, why don’t we take a break from this? I can finish the poster at home; there’s not much left to do on it,” her voice was quieter, more gentle. “And you can finish the essay when you’re feeling better.”

Ichigo narrowed his eyes. It was a very sad attempt at seeming fierce; it would have worked better if his voice wasn’t so affected by congestion. “I’m fine.”

“No, you’re not.”

“Yes, I am.”

Rukia threw down her pencil in frustration. “No, you’re not! You’re sick! Why do you have to be so damn stubborn all the time?”
Why do
have to be so damn stubborn all the time?
It wasn’t exactly her place to say something like that to Ichigo when she was so very guilty of the same exact crime herself. She, who was too stubborn to admit that she had such a little crush on one substitute Soul Reaper with a cold.

“I’m not…
Heh-issh! H’kisshh! Heh-kisshhuu!”
Ichigo’s supposedly angry retort was once again interrupted. He sniffled and sighed in defeat.

Cold: one. Ichigo: zero.
Rukia’s indigo gaze didn’t leave her friend’s face. She was staring, she knew it, but at that point she didn’t care. He was so insanely irresistible at that moment, with his eyes watering and his nose beginning to run.

“You’re cute when you sneeze.”

No, come back, words!
But they were out before Rukia knew it, and no matter how much she wanted to reach in the air, grab them and stuff them back in her mouth, she couldn’t. She would have to live with her actions, suffer the consequences…

Ichigo blinked, and for just a quick second, Rukia thought she saw the scowl soften just a little. Then it returned, but as a
look, not so much an angry one. His cheeks flushed.

Rendered speechless!

“Uh…thanks,” he said with a sniffle. And that was it.

Rukia returned her attention to her project, and began to erase her drawing. Now he knew, at least, and she could move on with her day as normally as any other.

"It’s really not that bad,” Ichigo said, causing Rukia to cease her efforts immediately. “It’s a lot better than I could do.”

A compliment?
Did that one single sentence she had uttered mere seconds before completely change him? Or did he have deep-seated feelings for her as well that had finally surfaced? She felt liberated. Freed from the chains of uncertain teenage love! But she mustn’t get too overexcited. She could scare him away. It wasn’t as if she liked him
all that much
either. It was just a little crush. She was not about to blow it out of proportion.


“Bless you.”

The two sat at the table in silence, with only the sounds of the wind outside and Ichigo’s sneezes and sniffles to accompany them. Rukia stared out the window, turning a magic marker over and over in her fingers. The sun was setting earlier now, and the first signs of darkness were sweeping over the streets. Soon it would overcome all of it, and leave everything covered in a blanket of shadows. She had finally made the first move. Would she make the second? It wasn’t very likely. Ichigo probably wouldn’t either. But for now, Rukia was content with that.

Stubborn? Of course they weren’t.


Thanks for reading!

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All right, I am in NO WAY familiar with this fandom, I looked it up to see pictures and the general idea of the story though.

This was SO CUTE. I really hope to see more of your stuff!!

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awwww sooo cute!! Ichigo is my hero haha :hug:

I love how you made his sneezes kind of delicate, it is super unexpected out of him. I know I would be transfixed and watching him intently like she was. Rukia was hilarious...i love how you worked in her silly drawings he always teases her about ^_^ they are great together. And Ichigo was just darn hot :) i don't think I could ever have too much of him *sigh*

Thanks for sharing! I loved it!! Your writing was awesome :innocent:

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*happy dance of retardiness*

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! I LOVE BLEACH!!! omigosh, this is the best story ive ever read for bleach :wub:;):rolleyes:

*huggle attack* Pleeeeeeeeeease write more bleach stories!! :lol:


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Not familiar with this one bit, but LOVED it! It was so well-written. I was so caught up in her thoughts, I wasn't surprised those words slipped out! Too cute! I also like how you described his sneezes as delicate, and so unlike him, yet fitting. Thank you for sharing! I look forward to anything else you may write!

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:wub: hehe As usual, I know nothing about this fandom and have never seen the characters. But it was just sooooo cute.

I love it when cute, sick guys can't admit that they're not feeling well.

**sigh** I'm all dreamy now.... ;)

Any way, awesome job and thanks so much for writing and sharing!

Much love,


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I haven't even been watching Bleach (only one episode or so) but this was so really nice! Left me craving for more though...

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Thanks so much guys!! Your lovely comments just made my day! I don't know when I'm going to be writing sneezefics again, but I'll be sure to post them when I do! :eek:


Hee! I can't get enough of Ichigo either, lol. He has to be one of my favorite anime characters of all time. Glad you like the fic. ^^

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Okay, this was entirely too adorable! :eek: Sick Ichigo is a wonderful thing and kept in such great character, easy to see it all going down like that. Kittylike-sneezes, so cute and are too perfect to contradict his otherwise loud and brash self. *giggle* Really an excellent fic! Hope to see more soon. :wub:

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:drool: Awwww.... I luv it when guys can't admit they're sick. This was such a cute little story. What a great thing to come back to after a 4-hour plane ride!! :D Thanks for posting this!
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Hee hee, I HATE this forum sometimes! It get's me dyng to watch so many animes from reading it's amazingly cute stories! NYA, these two are the perfect couple! Arguing, denying their love for each other...it's all so insanely CUTE! :drool: I felt just like Rukia to a boy in my Old school way back...Kept denying it because I already had a crush! >.< It's so confusing!

Anyway, I loved it, and I can't wait for more! Till then! *flies away on an ostrich (?)* :D

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  • 1 month later...
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I love Bleach, and fics like this make it even better :gah: I know you wrote this awhile ago, but it'd be really cool if you wrote one with Hitsugaya or Urahara :)

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I have never read the fic/anime/whatever it is, I am afraid to say, but I can say that this fic is absolutely ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you soo much for writing!!!!!!!!!!

I love it!!!!!!!!! :sillybounce::wub::laugh::twisted::laugh::wub::cursing::laugh:

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haha I totally loved this story! haha "you're cute when you sneeze." lol. thanks so much for writing it! I really enjoyed it.

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