Disclaimer: Not associated with Bleach or any affiliates. Just a fan :D


When Ichigo walked into the bar, he only expected to see Chad, and maybe Inoue. It was his birthday, after all, and as tradition, he wanted to drink. When he stepped through those doors, however, his first instinct was to turn around and run.

"Happy Birthday, Ichigo!" The roar of voices stopped him in his tracks, and his eyes widened. There was a banner hanging from the ceiling, the words "Happy Birthday!" strewn across in big blue letters, a strawberry illustration on each side. Balloons numbering in the hundreds littered around the small dance floor and various corners of the pub.

In the center of the dance floor sat a long table with a strawberry cloth draped over it. There were several wrapped gifts of various sizes on the table, and in the center was a HUGE white and pink cake. Strawberry, I bet, he thought as he looked past the table and at the group of people smiling at him.

Ichigo studied them, taking in who was present. Chad… Ok, I expected that one… Inoue, Ok… expected her too… Rukia, she's probably responsible for this. Is that Matsumoto? Ikkaku and Yumichika. That must be Kira there with Shuuhei… and there's Renji…Fuck, even Ishida's here… How the hell'd they pull this off?

Two hours later

"Well, I guess it's my turn," Renji said, holding up his glass. "Happy birthday, berry-boy." The sound of multiple glasses clinking rang through the air and they all chugged the contents of their glasses.

"Don't – don't call me berry-boy!" Ichigo shouted, almost dropping his mug onto the table as he barreled his shoulder into the man beside him.

Matsumoto wrapped her arm around the orange-haired shinigami and squeezed him tight. "I can't believe you're 25!" she squealed.

"Oh, and how old are you, Rangiku-san?" quipped a very inebriated Shuuhei, his eyes already half-lidded.

"A real woman never tells," she shot back, kicking him under the table and eliciting a sharp yelp from the man.

He leaned sideways to rub at his injured shin and slipped slightly, his nose only an inch away from Orihime's breasts. "Hey…" he said, suddenly mesmerized.

"Hey!" Rukia reached over the table and pulled him up by his hair. "Leave Inoue alone, you pervert!"

"'snot my fault!" Shuuhei grinned, leaning away from Orihime and into the wall beside him.

Ichigo leaned back in his seat and watched the banter. He was surrounded by friends at this long table, and he was beginning to think this was one of the best birthdays he'd ever had. His eyes roamed, his ears picking up on the various conversations.

He smiled lightly when he saw Ishida lean into Inoue, whispering something to her that made her blush as Matsumoto and Rukia wrapped their arms about each other's shoulders and started singing. He could see Chad, Kira and Ikkaku at the end of the table, their bodies leaned toward one another as their spoke diligently about something that Ichigo couldn't hear over the loud squawks from the women beside him. Yumichika wrapped his arm around Rukia's and joined in on the song before Ichigo felt movement beside him.

Ichigo turned and looked at Renji, who was sitting beside him quietly, staring down into his mug. "What's wrong wit' you?"

Renji looked up and appeared almost startled. "Nothin'," he answered quickly, shaking his head. "Just day-dreamin'."

"I think it's time for more drinks," Ichigo grinned, bumping his shoulder into Renji's playfully. "What cha think?"

"You're such a happy drunk," Renji grinned.

"Ichigo!!!" Matsumoto called, wrapping her arms around his neck. "Come dance with us!"

Ichigo shook his head violently. "No, no way."

"You have to dance. It's your birthday," Yumi stated, already standing with Rukia behind the table.

Ichigo turned and looked at Renji. "If I gotta go, you gotta go," he told the red head.

Renji smirked. "Ain't no way in hell."

"Wanna bet?" Ichigo grabbed Renji's hand as Matsumoto pulled him from his chair and tugged him toward the dance floor.

Ichigo let go once they reached the checkered floor and felt his world go dizzy as Matsumoto spun him around.

Renji watched as Ichigo laughed, his face flushed from the alcohol, his body lazily moving with Matsumoto's to the beat of the music. Rukia held his hands now and he turned to see her staring at him.

"You really need to tell him, ya know," she said, wrapping his hands around her waist.

"Don't start," he grumbled as she started moving in time to the music. It was a fast song, and even though Renji could dance pretty well, he didn't really feel like it. He felt himself wishing that he could just relax and have fun. He let his eyes wander to Yumi, who was dancing in perfect time with Inoue, both of them rubbing up against Matsumoto and Ichigo before making their way around the dance floor.

"Well, if you ain't gonna tell him, you at least have to stop being so damn miserable," Rukia continued, pulling his face down to meet hers. "This is his birthday. Not your pity party."

"How do you always know what to say to piss me off?" he asked, pulling her to him and moving his hips with hers to the music.

"You look better pissed off, and when you're pissed you don't mope," she smiled, pleased that she'd gotten him to dance. "Besides, you're probably the best dancer here."

Renji laughed bitterly. "Only because of your stupid lessons."

The song switched to another fast one, and Renji kept up with Rukia as she moved across the dance floor, her hair sweeping over her shoulders as she swayed. Ichigo was dancing with Inoue now, and beside them Yumi was practically molesting a still drunk Shuuhei. Matsumoto was back at the table, evidentially failing at getting the rest of the guys on the dance floor.

"You having fun yet?" he heard Rukia shout over to Ichigo. The birthday boy's face was covered by a light sweat, his teeth showing through his wide grin. He really is a happy drunk…

"Yo! Renji! I didn't know you could dance!" Ichigo shouted, his eyes watching as Renji moved with Rukia.

"Watch this!" Rukia chimed, turning and backing up into Renji. The red head grinned, knowing what was coming.

As Rukia bent forward, Renji placed a hand on the small of her back, both of them circling their hips to the sound of the music, their knees bending lower and lower then raising back up again before Rukia spun around and grabbed his shirt, slowly dancing backward and pulling him forward.

In a quick sweep, Renji had her wrist, pulling her back to him before grinding his hips into hers with fierceness, their chests pressing together as she bent backward and he leaned over her.

Ichigo watched in stunned silence as the pair moved together across the floor, his eyes traveling the length of their connected bodies.

When the song was over, Rukia smiled proudly. "I taught him that," she beamed.

"Wow," was all the birthday boy could muster as he watched Renji wipe the sweat from his forehead.

"Heh. She made me is more like it," Renji mumbled.

Ichigo jerked back to reality when Inoue kissed his cheek. "I think we're about to go," she said with a smile.

"Ahh, ok…" He ran a hand through his hair. "Ishida bored already, huh?" He walked with her back to the table, looking over his shoulder to see that Renji and Rukia were back to their antics as the next song started up. How the hell does he move like that?

"I think you got his attention," Rukia said once Ichigo was back at the table.

"Rukia, just drop it," Renji groaned, his hands going up to tighten the loosened tie in his hair. "Fuck!"

"What's wrong?" Rukia followed Renji as he stepped off the dance floor.

Renji held out his hand to display the broken tie as his hair fell to his shoulders. "Do you have one?" he asked, his lips going into a pout that made Rukia roar with laughter.

"When was the last time you saw me with my hair up, idiot?" she choked in between laughs.

"What's goin on?" Ichigo asked as he stepped up. "What's wrong with your hairr?" He eyed Renji curiously, then nodded in belated understanding as Renji held up the broken tie.

"Oh, well!" Rukia sang, grabbing their wrists and pulling them back onto the dance floor. It wasn't long before she was sandwiched between them, all three of them moving to the latest single from some UK techno group. Ichigo could hold his own when dancing, she noticed, and she closed her eyes as she felt Ichigo close in on her from behind, Renji's hips moving against her in the front.

"Oh, I want in!"

"Me, too!"

Rukia opened her eyes to find herself surrounded. Yumi and Matsumoto were on either side of her, both of them grinning and dancing. Matsumoto's hair was damp against her forehead, her brilliant blue eyes shining as she wrapped an arm around Renji's neck, singing along to the song blaring through the bar.

She lost sight of Yumi as he slid in behind Ichigo and she felt Ichigo jump. "Hey! Quit touchin' my ass!" he growled close to her ear and she chuckled.

"Yumi can't help being a bit frisky when he's drunk!" Matsumoto shouted with a grin.

"Well, go fondle Hisagi! This shit ain' – AH! Dammit, Yumi!"

Yumi giggled. "It's just so tempting!"

Rukia saw her chance and smiled wildly. "I'll be back in a minute!" she shouted, inching her way out from between Ichigo and Renji.

"Rukia!" Renji called.

"I gotta go to the bathroom," she winked at Renji and pulled herself completely away as she heard him groan under his breath.

She looked over her shoulder as she headed toward the bathrooms, her smile still in place as she saw Ichigo's hand reach for Renji's hip and pull him closer.

Renji's eyes went wide as he felt Ichigo closing the gap between them. The orange-haired shinigami's eyes were down, watching the movement between them and Renji forced himself to move despite the shiver erupting through his body at Ichigo's touch.

Matsumoto released her grip on Renji and moved behind him, her hands riding gently on his hips as she danced behind him. He didn't notice. All he could do was chew on his lip as Ichigo's body moved closer and closer with each beat.

Matsumoto yelled something from behind him, the music drowning her words as he felt Ichigo's leg sweep in between his. He held back a groan as Ichigo's thigh rubbed tantalizingly close to the now very awake thickness between his legs. Ichigo's hand was still on his hip, and the distance between them was closed, Ichigo grinding frantically to the beat of the song, his head down and eyes closed as he absorbed the music.

Renji tentatively reached forward, resting his hand on Ichigo's waist before letting his eyes slide closed, concentrating on the music, and not the fact that Ichigo was rubbing against him like a wild animal.

The song continued, the two of them moving back and forth, up and down against each other, Matsumoto and Yumi moving behind them. Renji tried not to notice when Ichigo's head came to rest on his shoulder, the hand that had been on his hip wrapping around to the small of his back.

His eyes flew open and he almost staggered when he felt warm lips kiss his neck. It was then that he noticed that Matsumoto and Yumi were on the other side of the dance floor and the two of them were alone in the center, Ichigo's barely moving body holding his, his lips sucking gently on the skin at the base of his neck.

"Ichigo?" He asked, stopping completely.

"Hmm?" Ichigo hummed against him.

"What are you doing?" Renji realized he still had a hand on Ichigo's waist and quickly pulled it away.

"What does it look like, idiot?" he murmured against his skin, and Renji could barely make out the words over the music.

"Eh. I think you're really drunk, Ichigo," Renji said, attempting to swallow against his dry throat.

Ichigo's head tilted slightly and he looked up at Renji, his other hand wrapping around and joining the one already at Renji's back. "Not really," he said, kissing the base of his jaw.

Renji's body shuddered and he could feel Ichigo's lips spread into a smile against his burning skin.

"Renji."

He turned his head toward the voice and his lips touched warmth. His eyes went wide for a moment as he felt Ichigo's tongue lick gingerly over his lips before he parted them, meeting Ichigo's tongue with his own as his eyes slid closed.

His hands wrapped around Ichigo's waist and pulled him closer as their tongues caressed each other slowly, both of them tasting the other as the music pumped hard around them.

The world around them faded as Renji held him, their hearts pumping fast against each other's chests, their hips pushing into the hardness forming between their legs. Renji moaned as Ichigo moved against him, a slow grind that made the blood run south for them both.

When Renji pulled away, he was breathless. Ichigo grinned at him, a hand coming up to curl into Renji's hair.

"What was that?" Renji tried to slow his breath as he stood, his arms still wrapped around Ichigo's waist.

"My birthday present…" Ichigo mused. As he looked at him, his smile faded slightly. "You should've told me, Renji…"

Renji stood shocked for a moment as the meaning in his words came to surface in his mind. He let his head fall and his eyes close as he sighed. "Rukia."

He felt Ichigo nod.

"How long have you known?" Renji could feel the blood rushing to his face, embarrassment overwhelming the warmth of Ichigo's body.

"Rukia told me on her last mission." He felt as Ichigo nuzzled into his neck, his arms wrapping harder around him.

"So you- I mean…"

"You're so dense," Ichigo said, his lips touching against Renji's hot flesh once again. "If you'd told me ten years ago, my answer would've been the same."

Renji wrapped his fingers around Ichigo's arms and pushed him away, looking at him in shock. "What did you say?"

Ichigo blushed slightly. "You heard me, idiot. Don't make me say it again. Just… don't keep shit from me, ok?"

Renji stared, unable to process all of this new information. He felt like his chest and his head were going to explode as he pulled Ichigo to him and kissed him again. He was met with the same hunger that he'd felt for so long as Ichigo's fingers dug into him, both of them reaching further to deepen the kiss.

It was a long time before they pulled away for air, both of them flushed and sweaty and breathing in gasps. They heard the applause over the music and both of them turned to look at the table.

"Whooo!!! Go Renji!!!" Matsumoto shouted, her glass held up in the air as if to toast. Yumi was sitting on Shuuhei's lap, his hands clapping frantically. Ikkaku and Chad were sitting at the end of the table, Ikkaku's eyebrows up and a crooked smile on his face, Chad's expression unreadable except for the faint smile on his face. Rukia was jumping up and down beside them, her hair a mess as she shouted something unintelligible.

Renji's head went down into Ichigo's shoulder. "This is gonna suck," he said as Ichigo laughed.

"Eh, it'll be alright. Come on," Ichigo took his hand and pulled him off the dance floor and toward the onlookers. "Shut up!" he shouted at them as they took their seats.

"It's about time," Rukia said, her hands on her hips.

Renji glared at her. "You're gonna get it, Rukia."

She donned her most innocent expression and pouted, and the laughter erupted once again as Renji noticed that Ichigo's fingers were still tangled with his own.