A/N: Day 8 Prompt: warm tones/cool tones

Rare were the days Ichigo completed his paperwork earlier than her, but they happened. Sometimes he grabbed her a quick snack then busied himself cleaning their shared office. Other times he would help her out with her work so they could go home faster.

It was a soft, unspoken habit he had picked up almost as soon as he was named her lieutenant. The role of captain was offered to him many, many times before then, and each and every time, Ichigo always refused it in favor of staying by his wife's side.

Sometimes Rukia's gaze would flit from her paperwork to check on how he was doing. His eyes always gleamed when he was lost in thought. If he tilted his head up at just the right angle, the light caught through his hair and his long lashes and she swore he became the sun itself.

She sat very still, as if even the slightest shift would rob her of the view. Kurosaki Ichigo was as fiery and beautiful as the brightest day. Not many people would consider Ichigo handsome, what with his perpetual scowl and gruff demeanor, but they did not know him as she did. They did not spend the stray hours tracing over the silvery scars on his chest nor studying the fine line of his jaw or the slope of his lips.

They did not watch him glow in the sunlight and feel in their heart of hearts that he was a man worthy of all this world had to offer.

And then he would blow out a slow breath and get back to work again. Small moments, meaningless in the face of everything else. Rukia would not trade them in for anything. They had fought and bled and sacrificed too much to end up anywhere but by each other's side.

He made her selfish. He made her want more than she ever thought she could. All she ever dared to want was him, every part of him, and he gave her all of it. When Kurosaki Ichigo promised her everything, she knew she could believe him.

Rukia did not think of herself as a poet. After all, Ichigo was always the more eloquent one of the two of them. She used to tease him about the stray scraps of poetry he'd written down during his breaks, but that did not mean she did not find them beautiful.

In these spare moments, she tried her best to match his punching elegance. Kurosaki Ichigo was pure flame. He was warmth incarnate. He was the sun. All seemed too weak a comparison to match how she felt about her husband. The words had to be within her somewhere. For now, she satisfied herself with paltry metaphors.

A much different heat squirmed in her belly then, one that could not be satiated by mere watching.

Rukia tapped her paperwork against her desk and filed it away. "Ichigo, I'm done."

"Okay, hold on."

Either he did not sense the urgency in her tone or he simply wanted to prolong his frustrating teasing.

She bit her lip. "I won't."

It was only then he looked up at her. At a glance, he understood what she wanted. What she needed. His warm, honeyed eyes lit up in the way they only did for her, lips parting in mild surprise. That damned fire spread through her whole soul when a coy smile quickly replaced it.

Ichigo handed the work off to the shared third-seats Kiyone and Sentaro, claiming that he had something urgent to attend to at home. The two exchanged a sly glance but said nothing.

She supposed it didn't really matter what excuse they gave in the end. Their third-seats knew what they were really getting at.

The Shiba estate was still a work-in-progress after it had fallen into disarray when the clan was banished from the Seireitei. Kuukaku-san refused to move back in, though Ganju and his friends visited, on occasion. For all intents and purposes, though, the Shiba manor was her and Ichigo's home now. So far, they'd only had time to fix up the entrance, a couple spare bedrooms that were very, very well used, and the kitchen.

Nii-sama had offered to loan a few servants to help, but Ichigo turned the offer down. Not out of a sense of pride, but more because the idea made him uncomfortable.

All the better for their privacy. There was no way they'd be able to get away with some of the things they'd done nor some of the noises they'd elicited from one another if they had to live with anyone else. Such was the tempestuous nature of the sun and moon.

The afterglow was mere embers in comparison to their earlier blaze. Rukia welcomed it nonetheless. For now, it was enough. For now, she was content to snatch this last bit of his warmth before she drifted off.

Rukia was so pale in the dark that sometimes Ichigo likened her to porcelain. Not because he thought her fragile. Far from it. She was tougher than him, and she liked to remind him now and again when she smacked him for slacking off or for teasing her.

Porcelain was thin and beautiful. Under the right circumstances, a work of art. In others, it was easy to see through and always close to cracking.

It was that latter aspect that troubled him. She'd never shown any signs of illness. Not lately, anyway. But Rukia was always prone to pushing herself well past her limits, especially where her work was concerned. She always put others before herself without thinking about it. It was both frustrating and fascinating all at once. The work of a captain was never easy, but she made it less so with the work she took on from others without complaint.

As her lieutenant, he made sure she never had to worry about catching up on work for tomorrow. As her husband, he wished she'd be more selfish and refuse to cover for others' laziness or inaction.

Rukia would not give up on her squad members. She never could, even in the most mundane of circumstances.

Other days, her pale skin enchanted him. The rare times she let herself relax, he'd let his gaze linger. Rukia was small and blunt and oftentimes annoying. They'd gotten into their fair share of petty fights because of her ruthless persistence. Even then, in the dark or when it snowed, she always glowed brighter than all the rest. Chappy had once told him that her zanpakutō was considered the most beautiful in the Seireitei. And really, with an owner like Rukia, who could deny it?

No matter how heated things between them became, Rukia always had this poise about her, as if she really was born a noble instead of adopted into it. It might have made her seem a bit cold to strangers, ice powers or not.

Ichigo found himself reaching out to her at these times. He needed to make sure she wasn't as cold as her pale skin would belie. Of course, the flush along her cheeks and the warm feel of her against him did push away those thoughts for a time. But eventually, that too would fade when she dozed off under the cool blue of the moonlight.

Rukia did not used to be a calm sleeper. She didn't kick out or fuss, but there was always tension there. Like she expected to wake up at any moment like a startled rabbit to run off and hide.

It was her upbringing, he knew. Her awful childhood spent in an awful slum without so much as a single place to call home. Some nights, when the memory of Kaien plagued her, their bedroom froze over and he would spend hours trying his damnedest to make her feel loved. A cup of tea or a silent embrace. Sometimes both.

This tension only began to ebb away after they started dating. Now that they were married, Rukia could sleep through most anything.

He would sneak off to make her breakfast or even get in the office a little earlier than her to take some of the workload off her shoulders. Ichigo even took a little joy out of scolding the lazier members of their squad for taking advantage of his wife's kindness. She knew he did this, but by the time she woke up, he was already done and it couldn't be helped. So she let him be, irritated by it as she was.

Many people had teased him for being whipped. Ichigo didn't really understand why that was seen as a problem. He loved his wife with everything he had. Wasn't that a good thing?

Her love was like the moon, a bright point in the darkness of everything he'd endured. It held him together, made him want to be stronger, if just for her.

Ichigo brushed her hair from her face. That stubborn lock of hair in the middle would not be moved and he smirked.

If he was whipped, so be it. The moon controlled the tides, didn't it? He'd gladly treasure the gentle push and pull of his heart as he watched her sleep soundly beside him.

He pressed a slow kiss to her exposed temple. Rukia snuggled even closer, searching for him even in her sleep.

Ichigo wrapped his arms around her, reveling in her steady warmth, and let himself drift away.

A/N: Just a short (late) thing for Day 8! I really like writing stuff where couples just stare at each other idk why. Also Ichigo malewife rights.

Got another late one-shot for Day 11 planned that probably won't be out until next month then one more for the 22nd (that's almost done)! Thanks for reading! Until next time!