A/N: Because I'm a horrible, horrible, author, I did not explain the situation with Ichigo after his hollow had his way with him! I deeply apologize. So, to my loyal readers and reviewers, here is the missing piece to chapter five and six. This chapter is not the best either. I felt like crap when I wrote this. Sorry if I disappoint anyone.
A/N3: Two dashes (--) mean scene change. A boarder means a time lapse.
Warnings: Ichigo emo/OOC.
Chapter Dedication: Much thanks to every reviewer and reader. Without you guys I would have been abandoned this fic.
Special thanks toFierygirl0 for being my official beta reader for this fic. :3
Ichigo remained on the floor, staring blankly into nothing, his nude form shivering. His body was numb and he had no strength to move, even if he tried. The pain from Hichigo's "second round" was agonizing. Ichigo couldn't help but sob in silence. It wasn't tears of the physical pain, but the emotional pain he felt from being so weak and letting his own hollow take him so easily. He felt this burning sensation in his chest as he held in the need to cry out while on the ground of his living room. His body was covered in blood and bruises, some cuts deep and some bruises so red as if they'd split open form the swelling. He hated the feeling of being so weak and helpless, but there was nothing he could do. He was already beaten; his pride was crushed beyond repair.
His hollow stood above him, his grin wide in triumph and satisfaction.
"Look at you. Pathetic. Some King you are," he scoffed.
Ichigo shut his eyes tightly as he tried to ignore the taunting voice of his other half.
"Aw. Did I break you?" he teased and laughed, the sound echoing in Ichigo ears harshly. "I think the word 'broken' doesn't suite you. How about 'shattered'? 'Crushed' maybe? How about 'beaten'? 'Defeated'?"
Hichigo grabbed his king's chin and forced the other to face him. "You're nothing but a whore. You're weak and pathetic."
Ichigo said nothing and instead concentrated on holding the sobs that threatened to escape his throat but he couldn't hold back the tears. They fell freely, endlessly; to the point that Ichigo's eyes were red from the strain. The grin on Shirosaki's face grew wider at the sight.
"I was tired of the rain, ya know that? Just so fucking tired of it. You had no reason to let it rain. It was pointless to have you emoing over something so trivial."
Ichigo tried his best to glare at his other half. "How would you feel after letting yourself be raped more than once?"
"Ha. As if I'd be weak enough to let that happen the first time. Idiot," Shirosaki spat as he let go of Ichigo's chin and moved to stand.
Ichigo decided not to move. The damage done to his body was too much. He continued to stare at nothing, his eyes unfocused. He heard his hollow dressing but still didn't move. Instead, he decided to ask the one question that had been bothering him since the beginning.
Shirosaki looked down at his King as he adjusted his hakama. The sadistic grin was gone and he glared harshly at his king, his yellow eyes burning into Ichigo. "I want to give you a real reason to cry. I want to show you what real torment is."
"Partner!" Hichigo's sang teasingly followed with his mad laughter that echoed in the back of Ichigo's mind.
Ichigo let out a whimper as he held his head in his hands. His body shook uncontrollably, the pain coursing through his battered body making his head spin.
Ichigo cried. Hichigo chuckled.
"What do you want from me?"
This was the second night his hollow had been haunting him. The hollow refused to let him sleep, refused to let him do anything at all. He was intent on making Ichigo suffer until his sanity left him.
The hollow continued to laugh darkly. "You know exactly what I want."
Ichigo forced his eyes shut as his curled tighter in his bed, forgetting to be careful of the broken bones in his frayed body.
The hollow smiled cheerily and looked down at his tormented master. "You don't how happy it makes me when I see you in pain… when I make you suffer…"
Ichigo said nothing, only continued to cry into his pillow. Hichigo's face splitting grin couldn't grow anymore as he watched his King squirm.
He moved to the bed and flipped Ichigo over so that he now lied on his back before placing his arms on either side of Ichigo's head and leaned in close. Ichigo shut his eyes tightly and turned his head, fearing of what his hollow would do to him.
"Let's make a deal, partner," Shirosaki began, his trademark smile gone. "I'll leave you alone…"
There was a silence. Hichigo was eyes were staring at Ichigo whose face was turned away entirely out of fear. Ichigo couldn't help but keep his eyes closed, away from those yellow ones that reminded him too much of his own.
"Show me that you can beat me," his hollow started. "Conquer me. Dominate me. I swear that I will never bother you again. As a matter of fact, I will be your slave; you could do whatever you please."
Ichigo's eyes opened slowly, tears still in them, and turned his head to meet Shirosaki's stern gaze. He saw, in those golden yellow eyes always insane, that his hollow was speaking the truth…
"But," he continued, "If I ever take over you again your body belongs to me. Got it?"
Ichigo looked at his hollow in question, "You want me to…?"
"Take me. Show me who the real king of your world is again… but in a different sense. If you are capable of doing that then…"
"Never again. You'll never have to worry about anything again. I will submit to you." Hichigo answered.
Was he really speaking the truth? Ichigo couldn't believe it. But looking into Shirosaki's eyes, they held a sort of sincerity that he never seen before.
"But remember this, King…" Shirosaki continued, his eyes never leaving Ichigo's. "I am the only one who will ever make you cry. I showed you, first hand, the real reason why you should cry in the first place. Don't let anyone else take over you. Your body is my body. Only I have the right to destroy it. Understand?
Ichigo nodded and the hollows trademark grin instantly returned to his face. "Good! You have one week."
One week… Ichigo thought to himself as he tried to bandage his wounds again with his only functioning hand.
"Problem?" Hichigo's annoyed voice echoed in his head. "I'll make it a day if it bothers you so much."
Ichigo was silent and continued to fail at his attempt to wrap his broken wrist.
Ichigo sighed, ignoring the hollow, and gave up at trying to fix his injured body altogether. Maybe calling Inoue would work. But he didn't want to drag her into his mess. She would start asking questions and if he didn't answer them she would start worrying. But there was no other way out of it. His family wasn't home yet to fix him either, thankfully. He didn't want them worrying over him too.
"Call the girl. Unless you want to lose that hand of yours. We both know your left isn't as good as your right," he chuckled.
Ichigo gritted his teeth at the hollows smart ass remark, which caused the other to laugh louder.
Inevitably, he ended up calling Inoue. When she came, she gasped at the sight of her friend, obviously not expecting for his injuries to be so serious.
Ichigo was quick to think. "A Hollow… Caught me off guard."
"Riiight… as if she'd believe that."
Orihime eyed him worriedly before nodding. "Okay. Well, I'll fix you right away."
As expected, the young girl began to prod Ichigo with questions of which he chose not answer. Some he lied about though. Hichigo would laugh when the girl believed him. She left reluctantly afterwards, but not before saying if he ever needed anything not to hesitate to call her. Ichigo simply nodded to the girl and she gave him a sympathetic smile then left. Again Ichigo was alone in the house.
"Why can't you date a hot chick like her? No. Instead you bother with a guy who's not even alive, let alone your age. He looks like a fucking weirdo and reminds me of a damn pineapple. Nice choice."
"You're full of shit."
"And you're full of me!" Ichigo shuddered at that and Hichigo laughed.
Within a week's time, Ichigo was finally able to gain enough courage to face his hollow. He felt a bit nervous, considering his hollow was completely insane and he overpowered Ichigo mentally. And if Ichigo couldn't mentally conquer his hollow… well, we know what happens.
Ichigo let out a shaky breath as he opened his eyes. His inner world, this sideways world, it all seemed like it normally did. Nothing seemed wrong… except for the light grey clouds that covered the usual blue sky like a thick blanket. Standing a few feet away from Ichigo on one of the buildings that served as the worlds ground was his hollow, piercing yellow eyes staring right at him, waiting.
Ichigo let out a heavy sigh before speaking. "What am I supposed to do?"
Hichigo let out a bored sighed and tilted his head to the sighed as he crossed his arms over his chest casually. "I've told you over and over…" he said in a very bored tone.
"Don't know how?" his hollow finished the sentence then laughed in amusement as he pulled out his sword. "Let your animalistic instincts drive you!"
Ichigo instantly unsheathed Zangestu just in time to block Hichigo's sudden attack.
"I shouldn't have to tell you to learn form your mistakes, Partner. I know you can fight it!" Hichigo said as he brought his own Zangetsu down for another blow. Ichigo blocked that as well, along with other attacks his hollow gave him.
"What exactly do you want me to fight?" He asked through gritted teeth, dodging a vertical slice by jumping backwards. He lunged forward and brought his sword down with a loud cry, but Hichigo blocked it just in time.
"Anyone who tries to overpower you."
Hearing that caused Ichigo to hesitate, the thoughts of the past washing over him. Shirosaki seized the moment to throw off Ichigo's balance by removing the pressure of his sword suddenly, causing Ichigo to stumble forward and Zangetsu to fall out of his hands due to his clumsiness. He pointed the sword to Ichigo's throat when tried to go after his weapon and the boy instantly halted.
"If you don't get over your emotions then what good are you?" Shirosaki voice said a very dangerous tone.
Ichigo didn't say anything to his hollow. There was nothing he could say. He simply held a stern look on his other half.
"Why do you refuse to fight them?!"
Ichigo didn't answer right away. He let his eyes fall from Hichigo's and he let out a shaky breath. "Because… I already lost."
Shirosaki's eyebrows knitted together and he gave Ichigo a look of utter disbelief. "So you're just going to give up?"
Again Ichigo said nothing. His hollow, who was now full of anger, moved his sword away from Ichigo's neck and tossed it away carelessly before grabbing the boy's shoulder tightly, shaking him as if trying to put some sense into him.
"What the hell is wrong with you?!" he roared. "You can't just give up! I'm trying to help you!"
Ichigo's eyes snapped up to look at his hollow in confusion. "What?"
"I told you! I didn't want you crying over something so stupid! I want a king who's strong, who's almighty, who's a beast! But…" Hichigo had already calmed but he still had that anger swelling inside him. "You've shown me you were able to conquer me physically. You have the power that can beat anyone! But you have no power over your emotions. And because of that, you've grown weaker. Why can't you learn to get over what's happened?"
"I…" Ichigo started, his voice wavering from suppressing tears. "I just can't." Ichigo's eyes fell again and looked down, not wanting to see that rare sympathetic look his hollow was now giving him.
"So you are giving up," The sound of disappointment in Hichigo's voice stung Ichigo.
The teen nodded anyway. He hated admitting it, he didn't want to believe it, but there was nothing that could be done. "I know when I've been defeated."
And it hurt.
Hichigo's hands slipped off Ichigo's shoulders and he stepped back. There was silence between them, and everything was still except for the wind that began to blow during their conversation. The sky had darkened and they took notice of the soft rumbling of thunder that erupted from the clouds.
Hichigo shook his head and looked up at the sky that should have been sideways. He couldn't tell anymore, the whole thing was covered in nearly black clouds.
"You're the King for a reason, Ichigo," Hichigo began as he looked back at said king. "Don't let that be a mistake."
"Why do you care?" Ichigo suddenly asked.
Hichigo sighed. "Because I can't stand to see my King fall from his throne."
Ichigo's eyes snapped open and they darted everywhere. He calmed when he realized he was in his room again. He let out a deep and heavy sigh as he buried his head in his pillows some more. He wanted to cry but… he knew he couldn't. He made a new deal with his hollow. After their conversation, Hichigo promised to no longer bother Ichigo, and dropped the old agreement, as long as Ichigo wouldn't let it rain anymore—at least not as hard. Ichigo still felt bad but he'd rather not think about it. He just rested in his bed, sighing and being depressed. He chose not to get up unless he really had to. He just didn't want to do anything.
But today had to be the day his family came home…
Ichigo heard his father running up the stairs then slamming his door open to greet him in his usual manner.
"Oi! Son! Are you alive?!"
Ichigo said nothing as he hid his face under his blanket. His father noticed, blinking in confusion. "Hey, Ichigo, you alright?"
"Yeah," Ichigo replied through the sheets. "I'm just not feeling very well."
Isshin didn't believe him. "You want to talk or something? "
"No, I'm okay," he mumbled.
Isshin's eyebrows knitted in worry but decided not to ask what was wrong with his son, knowing that in time Ichigo will tell him. "Alright. Well, Yuzu's going to make dinner soon. Make sure you come down to eat."
"Yeah," Ichigo sighed.
"Just lying here and thinking about your problems isn't going to do anything, King."
"What do you know…" Ichigo mumbled, staring at the ceiling of his bedroom.
"You've been lying in your bed and doing absolutely nothing but thinking about what's happened for the past ten or twelve days now. So far… nothing has changed. And I'm getting very bored in here."
"Ichigo!" his sister called from the other side of the door. "Come on, your food is getting cold!"
"I'll eat later," he said to her, his voice full of irritation.
"You haven't eaten in days. She should just stop asking you."
"You'd think she'd get it by now," the substitute shinigami sighed while turning in his bed.
"So what now? Gonna think about Sir Tribal Tattoo again?"
Ichigo groaned in annoyance. "No…"
"Yeah, whatever. That's all you've been thinking about. That's all you ever think about. Yeah, sure he makes you feel better just by thinking about him but just so you know, he's never coming back for you."
"Renji doesn't lie," Ichigo said firmly to the hollow that haunted his head. "He's coming back. He promised."
"He also promised he wouldn't leave you."
Ichigo fell silent and hugged his pillow tighter.
"He'd suck at being a boyfriend…"Hichigo scoffed.
"What does it matter? That's none of your business," Ichigo frowned but a faint blush tainted his cheeks.
"You want him," Hichigo said in a teasing tone.
"No. I don't."
"Stop being stupid, Ichigo," His hollow chuckled. "We've had this discussion before. Don't make me remind you, though I'd gladly do an encore."
Ichigo rolled his eyes and tried to block Hichigo out of his mind. "Yeah, stop talking now…"
Shirosaki laughed then fell silent, no longer bothering Ichigo. After their new agreement, both he and his inner self came to some sort of odd and dysfunctional friendship. If another would look at the relationship Ichigo and Shirosaki had, they would think their friendship was disturbing but that was between them. They understood each other and that's all that really mattered.
Sudden knocking caused Ichigo to slightly jump in surprise.
"Well, speak of the devil!" Hichigo said in fake cheeriness.
Ichigo rolled his eyes then curling under the covers tighter. Renji was knocking at his door but he wasn't going to get up and let him in. Ichigo sighed, wishing Renji really hadn't shown up. He couldn't face him. Not after what happened with Hichigo. Not with the feelings he had for him. There was just no way.
"So you're gonna ignore him? He came back just like you wanted him to. Why don't go see him?"
'Because… I just can't.' Ichigo thought.
Some time had passed and eventually, the knocking had stopped. Ichigo let out a relieved sigh. It's about time he gave up. He was knocking and fidgeting with the knob for a while already.
"Ichigo! Let me in!"
The young shinigami let out the most aggravated sigh. Damn him to hell. He just won't give up. Now he was trying to get to him through the window?
"He must really want to see you…" Shirosaki commented, a little impressed with Renji's persistence.
"Open this window or I'll break it," he heard Renji say. The window muffled his voice a bit but Ichigo still heard him.
'Damn…' Ichigo thought to himself. What was he supposed to do? He didn't want to see Renji right now. He wasn't ready!
"Maybe you can run? 'Cause you know… that's the only thing you're good at doing now…"
Ichigo growled inwardly and again tried to ignore Hichigo as he hugged himself under his blanket. Maybe if he pretended to sleep, Renji would leave… Yeah! He would have to leave because the window was locked!
Hichigo scoffed again. "You know he's getting in some how… and we both know you want him to."
Ichigo heard the window open and stiffened. So the damn thing wasn't locked… Then again, he never locked it anyway out of habit when Rukia would crawl in at random times. He felt the bed shifting from Renji's weight being applied to it. There was silence in the room, a silence that unnerved Ichigo. If he just acted like he was sleeping then maybe—
"How long are you planning on lying there?"
He kept silent. He'll just ignore Renji, he'll leave eventually.
And the next thing he knew, the covers were suddenly pulled off him, his chin was grabbed, and a mod-soul pill was shoved down his throat. His soul form was shoved out of his body then he was instantly grabbed by the collar of his shihakusho and pulled out the window.
"What the hell!?" He roared. "Let go!"
Ichigo was abruptly dropped and he looked up at Renji with angry eyes. "What the hell is you're problem?!"
"I should ask you the same question," Renji snapped back firmly. "What happened?"
Ichigo got up and dusted himself off, disregarding Renji completely. "Don't ignore me."
"I can do what I want," Ichigo mumbled before turning around, his back to Renji. He didn't want to see his face—at least not at the moment. Ichigo took a minute to realize they were atop of a building. Renji must've flashed stepped them there. He really didn't want to know why and he didn't care either. He just wanted to go back home and lie in his bed again and… be unhappy.
'Yeah… great way to spend the rest of my life…' he thought to himself sarcastically with a sigh.
"What?!" he snapped bitterly. He let out a frustrated sigh.
"What's this all of a sudden?" Shirosaki started in amusement. "A bit angry are we?" Ichigo shook his head, getting rid of the annoying voice in his head. Why was he so angry? Was Renji's presence aggravating him?
"Talk to me." the red head finally said.
Ichigo chose not to reply and instead, after crossing his arms over his chest, started to walk over to the other side of the building to get as far away from Renji as possible.
But the other shinigami wouldn't have that. Ichigo was suddenly grabbed by his shoulders and forcefully turned to face the other male. "Talk to me, Ichigo!" Renji demanded.
"I don't have to tell you anything!" Ichigo yelled back pushing Renji off him. "Just back the hell off!"
Renji regarded Ichigo with narrowed eyes, as if studying him for a minute before saying, "You're angry with me… aren't you?"
Ichigo bit his lip in frustration and clenched his fist tightly, looking away from the other male.
"You're upset because I left you."
"I couldn't give a damn. I didn't expect you to come back anyway," Ichigo said irately before he turned and continued his walk to the other side of the building where he sat and rested his back against the ledge. Silence filled the night autumn air and uneasiness settled between the two shinigami.
Ichigo heard Renji moving closer and figured he was probably sitting on the ledge right next to him. He didn't want to look at Renji. For some reason when he did look at him, he felt an angry heat boiling in his stomach. The other's presence was enough to set him off again. He felt like Renji betrayed him somehow.
"Your father said you've been locked in your room since he came back. You don't go to school anymore and you haven't even been eating. Mind telling me what's been going on?"
Ichigo's reply was silence. He wasn't about to tell Renji anything anymore, only for him to leave again after making things better. He'd rather keep everything to himself. Yeah it was nice having the red head around, he was the only person that made him smile again, but he promised he wouldn't let anyone hurt him again. As soon he left… Ichigo didn't want think about it. He shut his eyes momentarily when he felt his eyes stinging.
"Did something happen while I was gone?"
Ichigo shifted and brought his legs up to his chest, hugging them, while resting his head on his knees. He felt comfortable curled up like this though he knew deep down (especially with Shirosaki reminding him) that he looked pathetic. He didn't care. He honestly didn't give a damn anymore.
"Ignoring me again?" Renji asked, annoyance hinted in his tone of voice.
Ichigo heard the red head sigh.
"I have all night, Ichigo. Tell me what's wrong, tell me what's bothering you, what's making you feel this way. Tell me what's on your mind, how you feel, what you want to do, anything. I'll listen."
Renji sounded sincere, pleading almost to hear anything from Ichigo.
But he wasn't going to talk. It was too painful. It was hard enough to keep remembering and even harder to admit how weak he was.
Ichigo twitched slightly when he felt Renji's hand on his arm. The contact startled him at first but then felt a bit secure. He remembered how safe he felt in Renji's arms after he was raped the second time. He felt a sense of relief when Renji was near; when Renji would hold him close. When Renji listened to him as he spoke, holding him as he cried, whispering words of comfort, he felt so much better afterwards.
"You have to let it out sometime, King. You know he'll listen."
Ichigo hugged his legs tighter, digging his fingers into his legs. "I…" he stared, his voice shaky. He didn't want to cry, he had cried enough but for some reason it was getting harder and harder to hold it in.
"I'm tired… I'm so tired."
"Of?" he heard Renji ask softly.
"Everything." Ichigo felt his throat dry up, his eyes welling up with tears.
Ichigo shook his head and sniffled. "Life…. It sucks…"
"So… what do you want to do about it?"
"I… I want to cry. I want to the pain to stop. I want…." Ichigo paused to sniffle again. He tried to hold in a whimper but was failing miserably. "I want to know why it hurts so much and what I can do to make it stop."
"Does it hurt a lot?" Renji asked in the same tone, squeezing Ichigo's arm softly.
Ichigo nodded in reply with a shaky "yes."
"Do you want me to help you?"
Ichigo shook his head. "You can't."
"What?" he heard Renji ask in disbelief.
"You can't. I don't need any help."
"Ichigo… how do you expect to get better without even the slightest bit of help? You know you can trust me."
No he couldn't. No matter how much he wanted believe that he knew he couldn't. Something in the back of his mind was telling him that Renji was going to leave him again. He wanted the help, he needed the help, but he couldn't take it. Not from Renji, he didn't want to burden him with any more of his problems. He had to learn how to do things on his own and stop being so weak.
He let out a surprised gasp when his shoulders suddenly pushed and pinned against the wall. He couldn't help the shaky whimper as he looked up at Renji's firm eyes with his own tear filled ones.
"You shouldn't handle this by yourself, Ichigo." he started, his tone unwavering. "Let me help me you. If forcing it on you is the only way to do it, then I will. I don't want you locking yourself away from the world like that. It scares me to see you like that. Don't just ignore everyone and distance yourself without telling anyone or asking for help. I'm worried about you, Ichigo. Tell me what's wrong so I can help you."
Ichigo looked away and squeezed his eyes shut. "I'm scared…"
Renji released his hold on Ichigo's shoulders and moved back only to pull the younger shinigami to his body and hug him tightly. "I know... I'm sorry for breaking my promises."
Ichigo buried his head into his chest, the tears falling as he spoke. "You said you wouldn't leave me… that you wouldn't let anything happen to me."
Renji gently curled his fingers in Ichigo's hair. "Would you give me another chance?"
Ichigo nodded and fisted some of his shinigami uniform. "Don't leave me…."
Ichigo felt himself being hugged tighter with Renji whispering in his ear, "I won't leave you ever again."
Shirosaki looked up; he smirked and chuckled a little. They sky had finally cleared up.
Endnotes: Don't ask me wtf happened in this chapter though I hope you guys liked this one better than the last. Later on it will be combined with the other to make a whole chapter. The "Sir Tribal Tattoo" is a nickname that my friend Izzy made up for Renji so DON'T steal it. You may borrow the name, but you gotta give us credit. Seriously. Also, the next chapter will be up soon. No lie. No really, I'm not lying. It will be very fluffy so you are warned. Reviewz plz…. :D