Title: Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day
Author: Paï
Word Count: 6,032
Pairings: Ichigo/Ishida
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: English is not my native language + unbeta'ed; cliché thoughts, perhaps, too!
Disclaimer: This fabulous manga is not mine, nor do I own Kleenex ® LOL!! As for Shakespeare, that's another story.

Notes: This is kind of a sequel to Rain Butterfly, since I was asked to do one )
Concrits and typos are love!!!!

Ishida Uryuu was sitting against a tree trunk, working on his latest project. Today, the first day of summer, his class was out into the little forest to study the different variety of trees and insects. Of course, he was not skipping the class in order to have some peaceful time alone to sew – even though he would have liked to, seeing as during these classes, he never learned anything he didn't already know –; it was just the after-lunch break, and as they all had an hour for themselves, he had retreated to a calmer corner. His loud schoolmates weren't very far, but they didn't pay any attention to Uryuu, and he was not about to complain.

"Ishida-kun!"

Ah, there it is. In his class, however, there were two people who would willingly talk to him; both were redheads, and both were annoyingly loud. He watched from the corner of his eyes the girl waving at him and running towards him.

"Inoue-san," Uryuu finally said as she knelt down beside him.

"What are you sewing?" Orihime asked in her high-pitched voice, genuinely interested.

"A tablecloth," he simply answered, still not looking up at the girl.

"Oh! Are you trying the new pattern we learned yesterday at the club?"

"Yes."

"Oh, that's wonderful!" she exclaimed, clapping her hands together. "I was going to try tonight, too!"

"Good."

"Eh? What will there be on it?" she inquired, pointing at the beginning of a black form.

Uryuu then stopped sewing to put his glasses up his nose. He cleared his throat. "Butterflies."

"Oh, I see! I'm sure it will be more beautiful than usual! Would you show it to me when you'll have finished it?"

Uryuu was used to it. She always asked him to show his works to her, so that she could praise them. Usually, he didn't mind; but this time, he hadn't really intended to show it.

"Of course," he answered. He couldn't say no. After all, she was one of his rare friends; and he knew that if he refused, Inoue would have been disappointed, and would have tried to conceal it in understanding.

"Ah! Thank you, Ishida-kun!" She got up, smiling broadly, and was about to leave when something apparently hit her mind. "Ah, black butterflies? Could it be for Ku—" Uryuu's eyes widened and his hands stopped working once again "– ch—"

"'Hime!!!" Inoue was cut short by Honshou Chizuru, who literally pounced on her, rubbing their cheeks together. "What are you doing here? Come and play with us, it's funny!"

"Aah… Bye, Ishida-kun!" the redhead girl barely had time to say as she was dragged away.

Uryuu frowned, too absorbed in his thoughts to answer. What had Inoue been about to say? Was it possible that… she was aware of his relationship with Kurosaki? No, that was not possible; they had both been careful not to display any kind of affection toward each other in public. Or perhaps… Inoue had come to Ishida's apartment one day to ask him some help about homework or handicrafts, and she had… heard them? Normally he would have sensed it if she had come, but still, this couldn't be impossible… Or…

Uryuu sighed as he sensed the loud reiatsu around him a long time before its owner actually came into view.

"Oi, Ishida!"

Again, he didn't bother to stop his work to greet his other redhead friend. "Kurosaki."

"Could you stay here after the class? I have to talk to you."

Perfectly innocent proposal if anyone had been eavesdropping. So how could Inoue-san have found out?

"I have something to tell you too," Uryuu agreed.

"Fine, see you, then."

Uryuu looked up at Ichigo's back moving away from him, his mind drifting off thoughtfully. The words they exchanged in public were pretty dull, sometimes even aggressive, for two people that were involved in a relationship since two months now.

But their relationship wasn't one where you ran to your best friends with a huge smile to tell them you finally had an amazing boyfriend, that you had sex with him, that he told you he loved you and you did the same. First, because the only person Uryuu could consider as close as a best friend was Ichigo himself. Second, because their society, their school and their friends weren't ready to accept their relationship yet. And third, Uryuu still felt like accepting their relation in public was in a way becoming even closer to the Shinigami. And actually, he didn't really feel he would ever be ready for that.

When you had to live nearly alone for all your life, you become distrustful of human beings. The person who disappointed him the most was his father, who he knew had never liked him and had never tried to hide it. Then, when he was young, his mother had died. He didn't clearly remember her, but he remembered that when she had died, he had felt betrayed; for him, it was as if his mother was abandoning him. And finally, he, like his grandfather, had tried to believe in Shinigami. But when they had arrived too late to save said grandfather that day, he could no longer trust them anymore.

And all he had left was himself. He had to protect himself from any further betrayal, and trusting only himself had been the only solution.

But that was before he met Kurosaki Ichigo. Ichigo had been his first friend, and then his first love, breaking most of the protections he had built around himself despite the fact that he was a Shinigami. Uryuu couldn't deny that Ichigo had made his life brighter – literally and figuratively –, but he still couldn't believe entirely in him either. He must never believe in what they had.

Their feelings had evolved so much that, three weeks ago, Ichigo had confessed to Uryuu that he loved him. Two letters different from what he had first told Uryuu five weeks before that, but two letters full of a deep meaning Uryuu was still afraid of. And it had taken an entire week for Uryuu to be able to repeat the same words to his boyfriend.

He loved Ichigo, and Ichigo loved him; it was as beautiful as a fairy tale, and they were supposed to live happily ever after. But Uryuu knew better; he loved Ichigo, but it couldn't last. It was bringing him too much happiness, and he was not used to it. That's why he couldn't resolve to let the most important barrier around his heart fall. He was happy, so he knew that if someday everything stopped, the fall would be painful; but by admitting their relation out loud to other people, and if they accept them, they would be even more happy. And in that case, the fall would be even greater. This, he couldn't allow.

Uryuu sighed when he heard the teacher calling for everyone and packed his things before getting up and following the small crowd some steps behind. After some minutes, he felt Ichigo walking beside him.

"Ishida, what's wrong?"

He quirked an eyebrow at the redhead. "Everything is fine, Kurosaki, thank you."

"Well, it doesn't look like it then."

Uryuu was about to answer with a scathing remark, but the teacher saved him.

"Kurosaki, what was I saying?" she yelled from the other side of the crowd of students.

"Er…"

Resisting the urge to roll his eyes, Uryuu whispered some information from the corner of his mouth to his lover, who parroted them sheepishly.

"Right. Thank you, Ishida-kun," the teacher snorted before continuing.

Ichigo chuckled softly for some seconds before turning disbelievingly to Uryuu. "How in hell did you hear what she was saying?"

"A matter of good use of my two ears, I guess."

It was Ichigo's turn to roll his eyes, but Uryuu could see that he wore a slightly amused smile. Some minutes of silence followed.

"Well, I hope you intended to tell me everything later, or else…"

"Or what?"

"I'll beat it out of you!"

---------------------

Uryuu found the tree under which he had been resting earlier and sat back against the rough trunk. The teacher had spared those who lived near the forest to go back to school before going back home.

While waiting for Ichigo, who was talking with his friends before saying goodbye, Uryuu wondered what Ichigo wanted to talk about. Either he really had something to say, or he wanted to have sex in the forest. Knowing the Shinigami, the latter solution was probably the closer from the truth.

"Hey!"

Uryuu looked up to at the grinning redhead. When he didn't answer, Ichigo sat on his left with a soft sigh.

"So, are you gonna tell me what's bothering you today?"

Uryuu broke eye contact to rest his gaze on some uninteresting tree in front of him. "I think Inoue-san knows."

"About us?"

"Yes."

Like he thought, this information didn't seem to bother Ichigo a lot. He saw the redhead shift in his position, bringing his knees closer to his chest and resting his left cheek on them to have a better look at Uryuu's face. "Well, it's about time we tell them, anyway, don't you think?" he smiled.

"That's not the point, Kurosaki," Uryuu frowned, still slightly reluctant to use Ichigo's name out-doors. "How could she have found out?"

Ichigo seemed pensive for a moment. "Aren't you tired of it, Uryuu?" The archer looked quizzically at him, so he continued. "I am. I'm tired of all this game. I'm tired of seeing you still staying alone and ignoring each other. I don't want to ignore you."

"But —"

"I know. I'm not saying we have to make out in front of them! Just… We're friends too, aren't we? We could at least act like friends. Just stay with us… with me."

Like friends. It couldn't hurt, could it? Not that he really liked all of Ichigo's friends, but as long as Ichigo was there too… Well, most of them would probably ignore him anyway.

Uryuu sighed. "Okay, then, friends."

Ichigo just frowned deeper. "What are you afraid of?"

"Nothing," Uryuu lied.

"You know, even if Inoue knows, I don't think she'll tell anyone, other than Tatsuki. If you don't want people to know, it's fine with me; but they're my friends, I can't lie much to them. And they won't provoke a school scandal. Well, Keigo probably would," he chuckled, "but I'm sure he'd die of a heart attack if he knew, anyway!"

As Uryuu stayed silent, Ichigo rolled his eyes with a smile. He shifted again, sitting up on his knees, and then moved to straddle his lover. He rested his hands on the archer's bony shoulders. "I won't say anything to anyone. Just don't stay alone anymore, okay?"

Uryuu searched the warm brown eyes and upon the seriousness he could read there, he could only agree. Ichigo then moved his hands up to cup Uryuu's cheeks. "Thank you," he whispered before bending down to capture the pale lips.

Their lips brushed softly at first, as if tentatively, but they soon met again more passionately. The desire of contact made both boys' skin burn, and Uryuu snaked his arms around Ichigo to pull him closer. Tongues shyly touched before meshing perfectly, easily falling into their perfect dance rhythm.

When they pulled away for air, Uryuu realised that the sun's descent was already quite far advanced. "Was that what you wanted to tell me?" the Quincy remembered.

"Yeah, why?"

"Well, I thought it was only an excuse to have sex in the forest."

Ichigo smirked. "Well, I won't say that the thought never crossed my mind." He leaned down again to touch Uryuu's lips with his own, and then kissed his way down to the pale neck. "In fact," the redhead continued between kisses with a seductive voice, "if you hadn't been brooding the entire afternoon… I'd have skipped the class… to have you against a tree."

A groan escaped Uryuu's throat as his lover was now taking good care of his earlobe. He fought the urge to make his hands wander under Ichigo's shirt and instead tugged at the short orange hair. "Ichigo, wait…"

Ichigo looked at him questioningly. "What's wrong?"

"Let's move somewhere else…"

"Who do you think will come here at that hour?"

"I don't know… Kids…"

Ichigo leaned down again to take the upper part of Uryuu's left ear between his teeth. "But I have great plans for you here," he whispered. With a light roll of hips, the two clothed manhoods brushed against each other, eliciting perfectly echoed low moans from the teenagers.

Uryuu reluctantly pushed the Shinigami away by the hips. "Kurosaki!"

"Okay, okay," Ichigo gave in with a sigh, getting up with a grunt and offering his hand to his sitting lover.

Once Uryuu was up next to him, Ichigo didn't let go of the pale hand, entwining their fingers together. "So, how far do you want to go?"

Uryuu simply shrugged as they stated walking. He had no idea; all he wanted was to go as deep inside the forest as they could so that nobody walking by would hear them.

"Che… You'd better not get us lost."

"Quincys don't get lost."

"Oh?" Ichigo arched up an amused eyebrow. He released Uryuu's hand and sneaked the arm around the slim waist, pulling the boy closer to him. "Are you so sure about that, perfect little Quincy?" he whispered in the other's ear.

Uryuu hoped the redhead hadn't sensed the slight shiver that had run down his spine, and decided not to answer, concentrating on the path they were following. This was however starting to become difficult for Uryuu since Ichigo was apparently intent on molesting him while walking.

The powerful arm around his waist slowly slid under his shirt, roaming warmly across his back, while hungry teeth attacked his ear. Uryuu felt his legs shaking lightly but continued walking to hide it, wondering how Ichigo could walk without looking at the road. He quickly dismissed the idea of wanting Ichigo to trip over a stone, realising that it meant that he would fall with him too.

Probably frustrated by the lack of reaction from their prey, the sharp teeth moved down to the sensitive neck. Uryuu could still refrain himself from moaning, but he couldn't stop his heart from beating faster, causing his breathing to accelerate accordingly. He felt a smirk forming on the lips against his skin.

He abruptly turned left, hoping to destabilize his attacker; on the contrary, it seemed to boost Ichigo's confidence. Uryuu felt the hand on his back wandering dangerously lower and lower, and he couldn't hold back the indignant gasp when it quickly snaked inside his pants to squeeze his buttocks firmly. He turned to protest, but Ichigo held him firmly and moved behind him.

"What? Losing count of the turns?" the Vizard teased in his ear in a husky voice. No answer came again.

Ichigo wrapped his arms around his lover's waist and inside his shirt, automatically leading them up to pinch the pert nipples.

"Ichigo! Will you please stop that?" Uryuu exclaimed, the trembling in his voice betraying his arousal.

"Well," he turned his head to he other side to take care of the still untouched left side of Uryuu's neck. "I'm waiting for you to stop. I think this is far enough, isn't it?"

Again no reaction came. Uryuu spotted an interesting tree between the others on their right and started walking toward it. It was still some steps away, and he wondered if they would ever get there if Ichigo continued working his hands lower, clearly heading for the front of his pants.

When the hands stopped, he took it for teasing and did nothing else than stifle a frustrated moan. He didn't answer when Ichigo called him.

"Uryuu?" Ichigo repeated a bit louder.

"What?"

"I love you."

Uryuu abruptly stopped walking at the unexpected words whispered seriously in his ear.

"Aaah!" Ichigo triumphed softly, turning his lover around in his arms. "Now I know what has the more effect on you," he chuckled. When Uryuu narrowed his eyes at him, he added with a smile, "But I wasn't joking, you know, 'Ryuu, I really love you."

Uryuu's hands, which had stayed still and unused during the entire walk, went up to tangle in the spiky hair and forced Ichigo's head down for a heated kiss.

When they pulled away, Ichigo looked around him. "So? You seemed pretty determined. Where were you taking me?"

Uryuu broke free of the embrace and grabbed Ichigo's wrist, taking the last steps to the unusual tree.

"What is this?" Ichigo inquired.

"I don't know," Uryuu shrugged. "I've never seen one like that. But it might be useful."

They were standing in front of one of the largest tree of the forest; probably the highest too, but they couldn't verify this from the green clump above their heads. Its trunk was a greyish-brown, and it was smooth and very soft to the touch. Right in the middle of the trunk, however, was a large hole starting from the ground, high enough for Ichigo to go inside without bending his head and large enough for one person to enter with half-outstretched arms.

Curious, both boys looked at each other and silently agreed to go and see what was inside. Uryuu went in first, closely followed by his lover who was the first to break the silence.

"Wow… That's huge!" he exclaimed, wording perfectly Uryuu's thoughts.

The excavation was large enough for six people to stand in comfortably, and Ichigo would have probably been able to brush the roof with his fingers if he was standing up on Sado's shoulders.

"Hey, the teach' never talked about this one."

"No, we didn't come here," Uryuu frowned.

Ichigo shrugged and Uryuu was snatched out of his contemplation as he was pushed roughly against the nearest wall, trapped between the soft surface and Ichigo's muscled body.

"Well, it's a bit dark here," Ichigo whispered against Uryuu's jaw, one hand pinning Uryuu's arms above his head, the other snaking back again under the white shirt, "but I guess you won't complain anymore here."

The redhead pressed himself closer from Uryuu, bombarding the pale cheek, jaw and neck under him with kisses. Uryuu moaned as he felt Ichigo's erection pressing against the back of his pants, mimicking perfectly his own state.

Ichigo then let go of Uryuu's hands and turned him over so that they were pressed chest to chest. "I prefer seeing you," he justified himself, kissing the archer fully on the lips. His tongue brushed against the other's upper lip, asking for reciprocation, which Uryuu gladly granted.

When greedy hands fumbled his shirt zipper open, Uryuu blindly reached for Ichigo's own shirt and grunted into the boy's mouth at what he felt. He pulled away from the kiss, grumbling something along the lines of 'stupid buttons… gonna change that… annoying'.

Ichigo chuckled, looking straight at Uryuu's frowning features. Uryuu had already changed half of his clothes, replacing any button he could find. When he had three buttons open, Uryuu lost his patience and tore the shirt open without a warning.

"Hey!" Ichigo exclaimed, failing to show indignation by his wide grin.

"Well, I'll have to change it anyway, so that way I won't have to take the buttons off."

Ichigo laughed lightly at that. "If you say so," he said as his shirt was being slipped off his shoulders to end up forgotten on the ground, where it was rapidly followed by Uryuu's shirt.

Both boys leaned again for a passionate kiss as their hands wandered lower to take care of the last piece of cloth. Briefs and pants were lowered at the same time, their minds too preoccupied to even think of teasing. As they palmed each other's erection, they had to part their lips to groan with the same intensity and to oxygenate their fogged brain.

Ichigo rested his head for some seconds on Uryuu's shoulder, breathing fast. When Uryuu felt the redhead's hips beginning to twitch under his touch, he softly slapped Ichigo's hand away from his erection with his free hand and pulled Ichigo's closer to him so that he could take both of their arousals together.

Uryuu gently rubbed the soft fleshes together, eliciting a soft growl from his lover which was muffled as Ichigo bit at the bony shoulder. Uryuu had to bite his own lip to refrain from echoing the redhead's throaty sounds, but finally decided that the tanned neck exposed before him was a better temptation. While Ichigo licked at the previously bruised spot, Uryuu sucked exactly where the scarred shoulder and the muscled neck met, feeling the skin under his mouth shiver lightly as he ran his tongue over it.

With his free hand, Uryuu reached down to cup Ichigo's balls, his other hand still stroking painfully slowly their joined lengths. Ichigo pressed himself even closer from Uryuu, this time unable to swallow back a loud moan before it passed his lips; his hands, which had been resting on Uryuu's sharp hips, reached further behind to take handfuls of the archer's well-shaped buttocks. Uryuu gasped sharply, drowning his lungs with Ichigo's particular indescribably fruity scent. In that instant, he was particularly glad to be firmly trapped between Ichigo's chest and the tree, because he could feel his legs shaking from the pleasure, weakening his knees.

"U…ryuu… Stop," Ichigo suddenly breathed, bringing one hand over Uryuu's to stop its movements. "I want you… now…"

Uryuu complied, taking his hands away with a slight moan, then worked on taking his shoes off with his feet so that he could properly take his pants off to free his ankles. He bent down to retrieve his forgotten shirt and rummaged in the inside pocket. When he straightened up, he was holding a small tube.

Ichigo reached down for Uryuu's thighs and the dark-haired boy encircled Ichigo's neck with his arms when the Shinigami warned him to hold onto him. The redhead pulled his lover's legs around his waist, and Uryuu automatically locked his ankles tightly behind Ichigo's back, pressing them flush against each other.

Uryuu loosened his grip by one arm to pass the content of his hand to the other boy. He heard him uncapping the tube and squeezing some of its content on his fingers before passing it back to Uryuu. They brought their lips together while one of Ichigo's hand headed down Uryuu's back.

Uryuu reflexively tensed when he felt a coated finger probing gently around his entrance, but decided to focus on the kiss, on Ichigo's tongue between his lips, on his own tongue in Ichigo's mouth, on Ichigo's taste, on Ichigo's arousal against his own, so that his muscles could relax again. As the digit eventually entered him, earning a small groan from his throat, he nibbled at Ichigo's lower lip…

…and froze with a nearly silent gasp.

"What's wr—?" Ichigo tried, but was silenced by a hand on his mouth.

"Shh… Listen…" Uryuu whispered.

Both boys pricked up their ears and indeed, they heard some voices getting closer from them.

"Have you seen the time? We should probably head back home." A woman, it seemed.

"Yeah, but it's so peaceful here." A man, probably her lover.

Uryuu guessed that the passers-by were only walking on the small path, so even if they were at their level now, their tree was quite off the path, so they probably didn't risk anything if they stayed silent. He shot Ichigo a dark look as he felt the other's tongue wandering between and around his fingers.

"Come, we'll go watch the sunset, and then we'll go back home if you want…" the man added, allowing the two boys to understand that they were now at a safer distance.

Uryuu let out the breath he had been holding and looked back at Ichigo, freeing his mouth. Upon seeing the smirk on the other's face, Uryuu realised that Ichigo had resumed stretching him and he barely had the time to wonder if the boy had even stopped at all when another finger invited itself in. He tried to silence his moans against a muscled shoulder, still unsure whether the passing couple was now far away enough. However, this caused him to bite at the scar under his lips when the little intruders brushed against a precise muscle, making the world go white around him. As he licked apologetically at the bruised sensitive skin, the fingers were withdrawn, almost making him whimper from the sudden feeling of emptiness.

Accordingly, Uryuu shifted his position, tightening his hold around Ichigo's shoulder to heave himself up a little. Again, he handed the pocket lube to the other boy and felt Ichigo's fingers under him coating the cold liquid on his length. Once the redhead was finished, the bottle was tossed carelessly to the ground on top of their clothes.

Ichigo pushed Uryuu deeper into the tree trunk and guided himself against the dark-haired boy's entrance with a low groan. Uryuu gasped loudly as he was beginning to be filled, Ichigo's arms coming up to encircle his waist. As always, Ichigo stopped mid-way and asked his lover if he was okay. Uryuu, as always, bent down slightly for a breathless kiss and rolled his hips.

"Yes I'm okay, Ichigo. Now move," he managed to order between harsh pants.

Ichigo smiled and pushed himself deeper inside the slender man, earning twin moans from both of them. Once he was finally in to the hilt, Uryuu tried to will his muscles to relax as much as possible, gripping Ichigo's hair in one hand and bending down for another kiss as he rolled his hips again, as much as the tree and Ichigo's body pinning him could allow him to.

At the invitation, Ichigo started to draw out slowly, only to thrust back in some seconds after. As far as he could think by now, Uryuu was glad this eerie tree had a soft trunk, or he would have had the skin on his back ripped off by the end of their tryst.

Unable to meet Ichigo's thrusts because of the pressure against him, Uryuu settled for tugs at the soft orange hair and kisses. He could never get tired of feeling Ichigo's lips on his own, and Ichigo's tongue playing with his. Every kiss from Ichigo gave him butterflies and left him light-headed; and when they are one like this, the kisses never help him swallowing any groan back. But at that point, he doesn't care anymore; all that matters is Ichigo in him, Ichigo's lips on his own, Ichigo's tongue playing with his, Ichigo's growls echoing his moans, Ichigo whispering his name, Ichigo…

One well-directed thrust from Ichigo made him pull away from the kiss, eyes closed tightly, to cry out the Shinigami's name, his head making contact with the tree behind him with a muffled thud.

Ichigo's mouth immediately dived in for Uryuu's neck, his thrusts becoming more and more passionate and impulsive. Uryuu swore he could see stars dancing around him – like in those pointless mangas Ichigo sometimes watched or read – as his soft spot was now repeatedly hit, and he doubted he would last any longer, his pleasure increased by the pressure of their two bodies on his crotch.

So he tried to warn his lover between pants. "Ichigo… I'm gonna…"

Too late. Blissful heaven was now inviting him in as he cried out, probably Ichigo's name, and he tightened his grip on the redhead. He heard Ichigo grunt some seconds after, followed by Uryuu's name as he felt Ichigo reaching heaven inside him.

Both boys held onto each tightly, their mind occupied somewhere peaceful for a minute. Uryuu was brought back on earth by Ichigo's hoarse voice.

"Gods… 'twas awesome."

Uryuu couldn't help but smile and 'mmh'ed in approval. However, as he felt Ichigo's legs trembling slightly, he immediately untucked his legs from around Ichigo's waist, as fast as his post-orgasmic state could allow him to.

"Sorry…" he whispered before his feet touched the ground.

"S'okay," Ichigo mumbled with a smile. He leaned slightly down for a quick peck on Uryuu's lips. "I love you, 'Ryuu."

Uryuu refrained from rolling his eyes; he had realised that when Ichigo would get lazy, he would always cut Uryuu's name. It felt rather strange and intimate, but he couldn't say anything against the nickname. Strangely, in a corner of his mind, he wondered if one day he would end up calling the other boy 'Ichi'.

Still, he allowed himself a small smile. "I love you too," he replied before connecting their lips again for some short seconds.

Uryuu then looked at their chest to see the sticky mess he had created. "Oh, wait, I've got some Kleenex." He bent down to retrieve his rumpled shirt and took out a pack of tissues from another pocket.

While he thoroughly cleaned his lover's stomach, he could feel Ichigo's piercing gaze on him but couldn't bring himself to look up, feeling suddenly uncomfortable. He quickly wiped his own stomach and crumpled the tissue up into a ball, putting it back into his pocket as there was no dust bin anywhere near them. Still unwilling to meet the warm brown eyes, he bent down again to pick up their clothes; he handed Ichigo his shirt, looking at their hands, but instead of taking his property, one tanned hand curled around his thin wrist while the other went up under Uryuu's chin and forced him to look up.

"What's wrong?" Uryuu asked the other boy, Ichigo's intense gaze making him feel as if the Shinigami could read his mind.

Ichigo only smiled. "Nothing," he whispered, leaning slightly down to meet Uryuu's lips with his own.

Uryuu's eyelids immediately drifted shut and he answered Ichigo's kiss, parting his lips to allow Ichigo's tongue in. After a few brief exchanges, Ichigo pulled away with a satisfied sigh and finally took his clothes from Uryuu's hand.

"Thank you," Ichigo added.

Uryuu silently raised an eyebrow in questioning, but Ichigo was already putting his clothes back on and Uryuu realised that he was supposed to do the same.

Once they were done, they stepped out of their hiding, noticing that the sun had already half disappeared behind the far off hills.

Ichigo's hand reached for Uryuu's and entwined their fingers as Uryuu lead them back on the small path.

"So, erm… Are you sure it's that way?" the redhead asked, looking around hoping to recognise anything.

"Of course I'm sure." Uryuu paused for a second before pushing his glasses up his nose and adding, "Actually, you kind of made it even easier for me to remember the path." Ichigo quirked an eyebrow at him, so he explained as he lead Ichigo on the way, "This is where you made me stop," he pointed to some steps behind them. "And you see that tree there? Well, here you –" he cleared his throat "– grabbed my ass."

Ichigo chuckled as he realised that his trying to make the Quincy lose his concentration had in fact had the opposite effect on Uryuu. They walked silently for some minutes, until Uryuu pointed to a protruding root on the ground. "I was silently hoping that you would trip over that root."

"Hey! That's mean," Ichigo complained with an amused grin.

"Well, you're technique was even lower than that," Uryuu retorted.

"Oh. We're back," Ichigo commented uselessly as they arrived at the tree under which Uryuu had been resting during lunch. "Well, actually, I don't really mind that we moved, after all. But still, I'm sure that if you knew what plans I had for here, you wouldn't have wanted to move at all!" he teased.

"And what was that?"

"Well, you know… the position we were in didn't allow much for the imagination."

Uryuu frowned, remembering how they had been. His eyes widened slightly as he realised he could have had Ichigo squirming on top of him.

"I see…" he replied, trying to sound as detached as he wasn't, adjusting his glasses to hide his slightly renewed lust. He ignored his lover's large smirk and managed to get rid of the images before they exited the park bordering the forest.

Once they stepped into the street, Uryuu remembered that they were still holding hands, but since there was close to nobody around them, he allowed himself to keep the warm contact. And so they walked silently on, heading for the way to their respective houses.

Until someone came from running from a perpendicular road and crashed into them, miraculously managing to stay on her two feet. Upon recognising the girl standing in front of them, Uryuu had the reflex to let go of Ichigo's hand but the other's fingers tightened around his. Slightly uncomfortable, he remembered that their redhead friend had somehow found out about them.

"Inoue? What are you doing here?" Ichigo was the first to ask.

Inoue blinked a few times before smiling. "Ah! Kurosaki-kun! Ishida-kun! I was just go—…" she trailed off, her eyes wandering down to rest on their linked hands. Her brown orbs widening impossibly did nothing to ease Uryuu's discomfort, and he frowned as the girl started to stutter. "I…Ishida-ku…n? Kuro…saki…kun — but…" Her eyes were travelling from one boy to the other.

Ichigo looked questioningly at Uryuu, who mirrored perfectly his confusion.

"But… what… Ishida-kun…" Inoue continued, fixing Uryuu with an absent gaze. "Weren't you… Kuchiki-san…? And Kurosaki-kun too?"

"Eh? What about Rukia?

Inoue looked back at Ichigo, tilting her head slightly with a deepening confused frown. "But I thought Ishida-kun… liked… Kuchi… and you…" She paused for a second, her eyes clearly showing the state her thoughts were in.

"Inoue-san?" Uryuu tried.

"Ishida-kun, what about the butterfly…? Ah— Ooh!" she finally exclaimed with a wide smile that still showed confusion. "Of course!" she hit her head. "Kurosaki-kun is a Shinigami too!! That explains everything!! Haha!!" she laughed, though Uryuu could feel her laugh wasn't genuine. "Well, I have to go, now! See you tomorrow, then," she added as she started running away, waving at them. "I won't say anything, don't worry!! Good luck!"

Both boys frowned at the disappearing silhouette. "Well, it seems she didn't know, after all." Ichigo finally said. "And what's with the butterfly?" he asked, and Uryuu swore he could see one of his eyebrow twitch.

Uryuu sensed his cheeks warming. "Well, it's just… a tablecloth I'm currently working on. And Inoue-san saw it this morning. It seems she thought it was for… Kuchiki-san…"

So she didn't hear them after all. It was Kuchiki-san she had been about to say, not Kurosaki-kun. Of course. Why would it be normal for her to see a guy thinking of another guy?

"Do you think she's okay?" Ichigo asked, looking at where the girl had been running some seconds before.

"I hope," Uryuu answered, genuinely concerned. He was aware of Inoue's crush on Ichigo, but he was reluctant to inform Ichigo of it. He pretty sure that if he did, Ichigo would feel even guiltier, and Inoue would probably be even sadder.

Eventually, they continued walking until reaching Uryuu's building.

"Well, see you tomorrow then."

Ichigo leaned down for a quick good-bye kiss. "Yeah, see ya."

Uryuu stood still for a moment, looking at Ichigo's back. It seemed like this relationship would pain other people too, and he felt very selfish at the moment.

'Don't worry!! Good luck!' the words echoed in his mind. Inoue was ignoring any pain, and she even supported them, hadn't she? So why couldn't he accept this as well? She was willing to swallow back pain for their sake, so perhaps it would be better if he did too? And anyway, if the Shinigami ended up dumping him one day, he would just have to shoot an arrow through the redhead, right? If it was him who dumped Ichigo, that would be a different story of course.

"See ya, Ichi," he smiled softly before walking up the steps to his flat.