She wondered if he tasted like strawberries. After all, she reasoned, what looks like a strawberry, is named for a strawberry, and acts like a strawberry, should also, logically, taste like a strawberry. But he would not be a nice, sweet, ripe strawberry, she figured. He would be a bitter, unripe strawberry, cross with the world from picking him from his mother plant too soon, and still tough enough not to get crushed by the roper berries he was put up against in the container called life. In fact, he would leave them bruised at the bottom of the carton.

Ichigo really was a bitter strawberry, she mused. He was admired and sought after, and once one got past his bitter aftertaste, he would not leave them; they earned his trust and loyalty. And just like addicts, they kept coming back for more Ichigo.

She has a taste for strawberries, but she hasn't eaten one since she was a child and her allergic reaction landed her in the hospital. But she knows the smell, which always brings her back to those few moments of unadulterated bliss she experiences before she puffed up into her own itchy and splotchy red version of a strawberry. And she would give almost anything to taste one again, anything except the reaction she last had; after all, tempting death, even for a death berry, is not her idea of fun.

And she knows, as his eyes pass over the petite girl before him, lying injured in his arms, she will never touch this strawberry.

But perhaps, one day, she will ask Rukia if she was right.

A/N: I don't own 'em! Thanks for reading! And thank you to Chibi Tenshi for reading the drabbles I produce, and being honest with anything that needs changing! You're the best:)