Title: A Mystery Unsolved
Author: kajamiku
Fandom: Bleach
Disclaimer: 'Bleach' and its characters don't belong to me -sob-
Pairing: Urahara Kisuke x Kurosaki Ichigo
Summary/Notes: Mystery after mystery; Ichigo never can get to the bottom of it all. Smut-warning!

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A Mystery Unsolved

Being unconscious is not like being asleep. When you're asleep, you dream and your thoughts jumble the moment you wake so that you remember little parts of things mixed with others, a great mess of images linked and yet unrelated. You can continue the dreams if you're not quite awake, push on the thoughts and force them into reaching further into your mind for their conclusion, for their next chapter. For a single moment, nothing matters besides remembering the dreams you lose as coherency reclaims its hold on you, scrabbling for the last drop as if trying to keep water from draining from your hands.

When you're unconscious however, it's completely different. There is no certainty, no clarity as you have when you dream. There is simply something that came before and then the instant later in your memory is when you wake. A large gap that doesn't feel as if it's missing anything, even though it's clear that it is when you wake somewhere different, when you can't remember what happened, when everything spins and refuses to remain definite. When the time that you've been gone is recounted, everything comes as a surprise. It takes some minutes before you can even remember who you are or why you happened to be where your last memory puts you.

Ichigo couldn't remember falling unconscious. He couldn't remember a situation where it was possible that he might fall unconscious. Everything around him was, for a while, indistinct and unfamiliar, while his brain tried to catch up with the time that had been stolen from it. He felt unbelievably disorientated. From what he could gather, as his surroundings became more distinct, he was lying in an old Japanese-style room and the ceiling above him looked somehow familiar.

He tried to think back, to remember what had happened to him. He couldn't remember much. He could remember leaving the clinic, could remember yelling his goodbyes and swinging his bag over his shoulder. So he was going to school. That would explain the clothes he felt he was wearing, the familiarity that was outdone by the annoyance of keeping with the uniform. There had been nothing out of the ordinary, not that he'd noticed, when he left. He could remember wandering down the street, though he couldn't remember what he'd been thinking about, and could vaguely recall wondering where someone was. That was pretty much it.

He couldn't remember arriving at school so he probably hadn't, he knew it had been morning and he felt like he had slept for a while, so he was now late. Questions surged around him; what time was it? Where was he? Why was he here? What happened? Why couldn't he remember? But lying motionless, staring at the ceiling, was not helping. The ceiling was not likely to answer his questions.

Slowly, feeling stiff and heavy, his thoughts still slightly hazy, Ichigo sat up. Then wished he hadn't.

The room span around him, the floor seeming to tilt beneath him, and he fell back to where he had been before his attempt. He thanked whoever was responsible for the cushion beneath his head, which he had only just noticed, and waited a few moments while his thoughts cleared and the nausea faded before he decided on a new course of action. He turned his head. He turned and saw nothing but a room devoid of anything but himself and a pair of house slippers that had been left near to his feet. It occurred to Ichigo then, that this seemed very much like a kidnapping. Why anyone would want to kidnap him, and how someone had sneaked up as he was walking to school without him noticing them, were new questions to be added to the list.

Ichigo returned his head to its original position and used the ceiling as a kind of temporary mandala, following the faint cracks and chips above him with his eyes while he tried to figure out this mystery. Suddenly, as his gaze traced a collection of lines which he decided looked like a hat, he realised where he had seen this ceiling before. As embarrassing as it was, since the only time he saw the ceiling was when he was beaten or injured, Ichigo now realised where he was.

Slowly, so as not to get dizzy again, Ichigo tilted his head again, this time backwards, and all at once noticed that there was someone sitting in front of the sliding doors, someone wearing a green and white striped hat.

"Ah, Kurosaki-san, you're awake!" Urahara's voice hurt Ichigo's ears and he groaned as the shop-owner beamed over at him, fan moving even though the room was, at best, cool already. Ichigo went back to staring at the ceiling, lifting an arm to rub his eyes with, and heard soft footfalls approach his side, and then the sound of rustling cloth as Urahara sat down. "How are you feeling? Not too badly damaged I hope." Always the smile in his voice. Ichigo wanted to hit him.

"Nah, I'm just great." Sarcasm, ever a tired teenager's first weapon. "What the hell happened to me? Why am I here?" Extra emphasis on 'here'. The fan stopped moving, Ichigo heard the snap of it being shut, and Urahara 'mmm-hmmm-ed' for a moment, before he gave his response.

"Well, actually, that's partly my fault. I asked Tessai-san to retrieve you, but I think he may have treated you a little rougher than I intended..." Ichigo gained the sudden image of himself walking down the street, a large shadow appearing from nowhere and bashing him unconscious. He gave Urahara a flat look. "Really! I didn't ask for anything of the sort!" He waved his hands in front of himself as a gesture of innocence, but it failed miserably and Ichigo just sighed.

"Then, what time is it?" Although going in late didn't have much appeal, Ichigo knew he should probably go to school, even if it wasn't as if the teacher would notice.

"That would be, five o'clock in the afternoon." Ichigo's eyes nearly bugged out of his head in shock. Nine hours! How hard had Tessai hit him? He decided he didn't want to know, but patted the back of his head for injury anyway. "I had wanted to give you a message from Soul Society, but you were asleep so long that it's now useless information." Urahara shrugged his shoulders in a dismissive way, but continued all the same. "Someone over there wanted to warn you of the appearance of one Zaraki Kenpachi who, apparently, was goaded into coming here by someone-who-shall-remain-nameless to fight with you." Urahara adjusted his hat as he spoke. "Luckily, he returned some time ago without finding you." Ichigo was suddenly very thankful for being beaten unconscious.

"Right… And when do I get to go home, my head's starting to clear now." Ichigo half sat up, leaning on one arm while the other re-checked the back of his head which, now, felt just a little tender to the touch. It wasn't that he was uncomfortable – alright he was – but the thought of having been in the shop for nine hours without knowing it was a little unnerving. He badly just wanted to get home, have some dinner and sleep the whole day, or lack of, away.

"Well, that depends on whether you really want to leave…" Ichigo was suddenly and painfully aware that not only was there a rogue hand tracing patterns onto his arm, but also that Urahara was sitting much closer than it was necessary for him to be. "You could always stay here overnight, you are an invalid after all…" Still the smile to his voice, but there was definitely a different sound to the tone this time. It made Ichigo glad he didn't know what kind of thoughts had been going through the man's head before he'd woken up.

"Uh, I think I…" Ichigo automatically leaned away when Urahara leaned closer, but because he was still leaning on one hand, he couldn't go far and he soon found a certain handsome unshaven face no more than two inches from his own, one hand on the wrist he was balancing on, the other moving slowly over his stomach and then following the trail of buttons across his chest. His skin prickled at the near-not-there touches that breezed over his shirt like a light wind, his flesh receiving nothing but the lightest graze, and despite the warm weight of a thigh pressed against his own, it was difficult for Ichigo to accept that this was actually happening.

Maybe he really was asleep, and this was a dream. Maybe he hadn't been unconscious at all, just having really, very strange(ly arousing) dreams… The dream theory flew out of the window quickly enough; you couldn't feel things in a dream, right? Ichigo was definitely feeling this.

The thigh that had been touching his moved between his legs, he could feel the kimono material moving, stretching, the folds separating, and then there was a hand inside his shirt and a face against his neck, and Ichigo's last support fell. His hand slipped, his arm finally giving way, and he fell onto his back, the air forced from his lungs, his head falling back as a hungry mouth came against the freely given flesh.

It was madness, Ichigo decided at last, utter madness that he even thought that this was happening, that this was real. And yet, everything was so clear compared to the daze of earlier minutes, everything was moving as it should, the time-line made sense again and his life was simply pushing the darkness of the last nine hours away to embrace the new memories that were being made, like a train changing its tracks and learning a new route. The teeth at his collarbone were real, the hand roaming his chest, sending buttons flying as it tore at his shirt to get better access, was real, its twin, slipping beneath him to grab at his ass, was real. All of it was.

He groaned, madness and delusions and dreams forgotten, and watched Urahara lift his head, his body still for a moment. His hat was gone, knocked off at some point, and although he couldn't remember how or when it had gotten there, Ichigo's hand was laced roughly into the revealed blonde hair.

Without his hat, Urahara gained a sleepier look, less mysterious and more like a real person, but the sleepiness didn't seem to apply to his eyes, which were sharper than they usually seemed, glinting in the light, smouldering, awash and enveloped with a curious heat. Ichigo had never seen anything like it. For a moment the older man simply looked at him – and how must he have looked, he wondered, out of breath with his cheeks burning, his eyes dilated and cloaked with the kind of lust he'd never been drowned in so thoroughly – and then a small smile, different from the kind Ichigo usually saw, came to his lips.

And finally their mouths met, not even bothering with the short, shy build-up and rushing directly into darker territory; kisses that burned and scorched, kisses that were rough and involved, wild and powerful. Tongues that danced and fought, met and parted, pushed together in a crude mimicry of the bodies that moved together, that surged and crashed like waves on rocks, clothing torn and discarded, untamed cries they hardly heard echoing in the small room.

Ichigo felt the press of hands on his body, insistent in their exploration, their rapid movements, their encouragement of his reactions. He felt hot breath travel from his lips to his ear, ear to chin, chin to neck, neck to chest, tongue and teeth following along, raising a flush to his skin, leaving countless marks of territory behind them.

They were pressed together, flesh to flesh, legs tangled, hips moving, skin pushed against hands and mouths that moved with quick and ravenous accuracy. Groans and hitches of breath, moaning and panting, the hisses and purrs and cries that sounded like names, filled the air, made it smoulder, made it blaze like a well-fuelled fire. It was sure in its heat, encompassing, friction and frantic movements serving only to increase it to a near unbearable epitome.

Strong bare thighs pushed forward, forced the other's legs to lift, to bare everything, to surrender. Preparation was swift, frenzied but thorough, the mouth unoccupied by muffled groans and feral sounds, caught the sweat that trailed across its partner's skin, cat-like intensity filling the task while the hands brought promise of new pleasure, of a new height for the pair to reach.

And then the penetration, Ichigo's body curled up, his chest heaving, as he panted nonsense and was overwhelmed by the intrusion. The blonde man pushed in, sheathed himself, into a heat, a constriction, so glorious that he scarce heard the sound he made, the low moan that hummed through both bodies as he lifted his head and tried to lower himself from the plateau of pressure and gratification he had banished himself to in that simple move, in that infliction of pain and pleasure upon his partner, who reached for his head as he lowered it, laced hasty fingers into his sweaty hair and pulled them close and bruised his mouth with his own, growling an order too crude and sweet to ignore.

Then they were together again – one person – and their bodies found their natural rhythm, their synchronicity, their eager movements testament to pleasure long denied, their entire beings focussed and strained.

The thrusts were deep, harrowing, harsh, and their bodies fought the strain, the leeching energy, the heat only swiftly growing around them. The movements were quick, hard, fixated on one thing, and both could feel the mounting pleasure, the frantic coupling increasing in aggression and volume as everything approached its end.

The cries that bounced from wall to wall, the crude sounds that came in a steady stream of eroticism, became louder, lingering and as bracing as being struck. The bodies moving together on the tatami, hot and fierce, brazen and ruthless, pushed closer and deeper, harder and swifter, the impending closure growing nearer with every given second, the conclusion the mouths met for, a silent promise of the coming storm that would take them.

Then, like a whirlpool drawing everything toward itself, the end came and, with twin cries, spinning together like an erotic chorus, both men embraced the final wave with full body and mind, thoughts they might have had dashed in a moment. Everything span and fizzled, bubbled up and was drowned, the height broken with an infinite explosion of resolution.

Urahara strained against his partner's body, drawing out the last seconds as long as possible, the gushing pleasure humming pleasurably, plummeting onto him like a heavy waterfall's torrents. The heat disappeared, vanquished in the gusts of pleasure that left them panting for breath and pressing ever closer to one another. The final throbbing moments ebbed, the feeling lingering in its lighter form, and the blonde lowered his head and pressed his sweat-slicked forehead against his partner's heaving chest. He chuckled.

"Now, do you want to stay?" It was all he could do not to allow his voice to waver, and he smiled at Ichigo's noncommittal grunt, pulling away from the boy and then finally lowering himself onto the swiftly cooling flesh, the stickiness between them ignored.

Ichigo turned his head away as everything began to slot into place again, the aftermath not completely unlike waking from unconsciousness, and wished his face wasn't so hot. Urahara didn't say anything, however, he only reached for his discarded kimono, shook his head at the very obvious tear, and lay it over the two of them. After a moment of sitting up, he slid down beside Ichigo and the substitute Shinigami automatically curled into him, still feeling embarrassed but able to bear it if his face was not visible.

He decided, after a moment of mulling over what to say, that everything was probably best discussed the following morning. If it was discussed at all. Urahara Kisuke did not seem the type to have a big emotional discussion. Nor was he, really. But there was something more to this whole incident that there seemed to be, of this he was relatively sure.

Mysteries… damn Urahara and all those unanswered questions.

Then the blonde man, who from the sounds of his breathing had already fallen asleep, unconsciously pulled Ichigo closer to his body. Despite the flush Ichigo got from being butt naked next to another man, he found himself oddly pleased.

Damn the questions. The mystery now was not how or why he had been brought here, he decided. It was why in the name of all things sacred, was he lying here on the floor naked in the arms of an equally naked Urahara Kisuke. Or no, perhaps not even that. Ichigo would be happy enough to work out what shampoo it was he could smell, and why it seemed so familiar.