Delicate Snowfall

Disclaimer/Notes: Own Bleach I do not. (stops the Yoda act) Anyway, this is just a little bit of semi-fluffy almost-drabble, sort-of-sweet little story. Hope you enjoy! (crosses fingers)

The sky was a bleary dull gray, full of clouds heavier than it could bear. Tiny flakes drifted down at first, intricate and beautiful. She walked through it all, small feet navigating the thin layer of snow with relative ease. The shoes were thin, as flexible as ballet slippers.

A dress whiter even than the snow graced her small frame, drifting down to her feet, as delicate as the wind rippling through it. Black hair sifted over her face, specked with melting white flakes. An unused scarlet umbrella was open behind her, laid over her shoulder casually, contrasting shockingly with the white all around.

She sensed his presence before she heard his grudging footsteps behind her. "You're gonna get frostbite or something. Use the frickin' umbrella. And while you're at it—newsflash, dope—it's winter. Why don't you dress like it?"

"Because," Rukia said, looking back at the boy behind her. "I like how it feels on my skin."

The flakes became faster, the wind harder, snow falling in rapid clumps to the ground. The greenish patches became quickly overshadowed with white. Rukia did a pirouette and faced Ichigo. "I don't understand why the people here go out into this 'snow' all dressed up. If you're warm...if you can't feel it, then what's the use? How is it different from staying inside? What's the use of beauty if you only see but don't feel it?"

Ichigo sighed deeply. "It's called hypothermia. Not sure if shinigami hafta worry about it, but it's not high on my to-do list."

"So you've never felt it like this...on your skin?" Rukia said. She stuck her tongue out and caught a clump of flakes on her tongue. "You're missing out."

Ichigo shrugged.

"You're afraid."

"No I'm not. What's with you and snow, anyway? You don't do this when it's raining."

Rukia pulled the umbrella over her face abruptly. "I don't much like the rain."

Ichigo nodded. "Yeah. But...snow is just frozen rain."

The wind picked up, blowing so hard that Rukia almost fell against Ichigo. He grabbed her shoulders and lifted her up. She tipped the umbrella in front of her to shield herself from the wind. Flakes flurried down with the wild wind, making a frosty sheen on Rukia's raven hair.

"I know that much from reading those stupid textbooks," she said softly, lowering the umbrella. "But...that's exactly why I like it. It proves that the rain can become something beautiful. Don't you think, Ichigo?"

She winced. Usually, when she asked him 'Do you think?' he answered dryly with, "Only when I'm forced to."

He didn't, though. Not this time.

Rukia continued. "That's why I like snow. Look." She held a slender, gloved finger out and caught a flake on it. Ichigo hesitantly bent down to look. "See? Rain only washes things away. It's beating...painful. Snow is light. Weightless. It's what rain can become, if you let it."

Ichigo growled in response. "Yah, whatever. If you wanna freeze to death, feel free."

Despite his words, Rukia couldn't help noticing that he took his jacket and hat off when they turned around the next corner together, walking just a bit closer behind her.

Author's Notes: Nothing of any substance. Just a product of my obsession with rain, Ichigo's aversion to it, and the beauty of a snow-covered ground. (glances longingly outside) And of course ya gotta have some quirky Rukia. Hope you liked! Please Review! Reviews make my muse really happy. Though I'm not sure if that's a good thing...