Bleach and all associated characters are property of Kubo Tite.

All characters depicted in sexual situations are fictional and of the legal age of consent.

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"Hey, pretty thing, ya wanna dance?"

I know it was supposed to be a compliment but I had heard that line so many times tonight that it was getting pretty annoying. It was all Renji's fault for bringing us out to this dingy club. Even if he was trying to seduce Ichigo, it still didn't mean that he had to drag Ikkaku and me around town while he tried to get in the oblivious boy's pants. True, Ichigo had only agreed to come out since it would be the four of us and not just Renji and him, but it wasn't like the brash fukutaichou even had a chance, anyways. The two were currently bickering over Ichigo's choice of cheap beer. If Renji continued to complain about something as simple as a drink selection, he'd never win Ichigo's heart. That man had no tact. More like, negative tact, if such a thing is possible.

I sighed into my cosmopolitan and glared at the drunk man in front of me. Why did they all assume that I was some hunk of fresh meat, just waiting to be picked up? The first few guys had been decent about it, quietly asking if I was single and then backing away when I said I wasn't interested. However, the more time that went by, the more brash and unbeautiful the advancers became. This current one reeked of alcohol and Gods know what else, and looked like he stepped of the Hobo Fashion Runway. I pinched the bridge of my nose and closed my eyes. Would this ever end?

Apparently, not. This man just couldn't understand that my ignoring him was a blatant hint for him to get lost. He sidled closer and winked at me, his stench almost making me pass out. Didn't they have soap here in the real world? Or maybe cologne? Almost knocking over the barstool next to me, he put a heavy arm around my shoulder and leaned in so that his nose was grazing my cheek. Just touching him made me feel infected with his dirtiness.

"What's the matter, honey, are you shy?" He smiled, revealing yellow, crooked teeth that looked about ready to fall out.

"No, I'm just not attracted to you. I'm not attracted to ugly people."

The man narrowed his eyes and grinned again, a little evilly this time. "Oh, is that so? You don't think I could show you a good time?" He tightened his arm around my shoulder and I began to worry that he might wrinkle my clothing. I had just bought that shirt.

"I think he wants you to bug off, asshole." Ikkaku's voice cut through the blaring music and I felt his hand on my shoulder. It was oddly comforting.

Dirty teeth flashed again as the man sneered. "What, are you his boyfriend, or something?"

I turned my head in time to see the surprise flicker in Ikkaku's eyes. A second later it was gone and replaced with cold resentment. "So what if I am? You gonna do something about it?" Ikkaku's hand on my shoulder tightened and he looked at me out of the corner of his eye.

I suppose it didn't shock me that he was being so protective. After all, we had been best friends for many years, and we spent most of every day together. But, it was still a little odd that he would be so quick to stand up for me when he knew that I could dispatch this creep as easily as I would a fly.

The other man's eyes narrowed a little before his sneer grew. "So you two are a couple then?"

Ikkaku looked down at me. I shrugged, curious to see what his reply would be. "That's right, we are." It was my turn to be surprised. Did I miss something? This wasn't something Ikkaku would normally do, even if he was trying to protect me. I was pretty sure that he was straight. I mean, a guy as strong and, well, macho as he was certainly didn't have trouble with the ladies. Shrugging it off as some weird idea that had worked it's way into his random mind, I leaned into his chest and glared at the unkempt man standing before us. He stood up straight (or as straight as he could in his drunken state) and looked at Ikkaku menacingly. "Oh yeah? Prove it, then."

Ikkaku inhaled sharply and glared back. "Prove it?"

The other man snickered. "Yeah. I don't think you're nothing more than a stupid guy trying to stand up for his friend."

I cringed as Ikkaku tensed next to me. If there was one thing that got under his skin, it was a challenge. "Oh yeah?" he bantered, "Well, how 'bout this?"

He gathered me in his arms and planted his lips firmly onto mine. My eyes widened in shock, but after a moment I decided to play along. It wasn't the wisest thing to disrupt the unruly third seat when he was in this kind of mood. I closed my eyes and let Ikkaku do what he pleased. My shock deepened as his tongue thrust into my mouth and past my teeth, coming into contact with my own and swirling around the tip. He opened his eyes and stared back at me, skillfully teasing the roof of my mouth and under my tongue. When had he learned to kiss so well?

After a moment, Ikkaku broke the kiss and turned to face the other man, now gaping at us in astonishment. A smirk curved on Ikkaku's lips and he folded his arms on his chest, daring the drunken man to say anything else. Finally, the unbeautiful drunk got the hint and turned to leave, throwing a surly glance over his shoulder as he walked to the nearest exit. Well, that certainly did the trick.

I turned to Ikkaku and jumped when I saw his face, inches from my own. "Um, sorry about that," he whispered. Quickly giggling to hide my embarrassment, I shrugged and said, "Oh, no. I'm the one who's sorry that you had to come over and drive that nut away." Ikkaku frowned and I wondered if I had done something wrong.

"I just didn't like seeing him all over you like that." He looked down at his shoes and stuck his hands in his pockets. Had he been jealous? Not wanting to read too much into the situation, I put a hand on his shoulder and giggled again. "It's bound to happen when you're this beautiful!"

Ikkaku stared at me and suddenly I felt uncomfortable. What was going on? He cupped my chin in his hand. "You are beautiful, Yumi." He bent down and placed a chaste kiss on my lips before walking away. My heart skipped a beat as I watched him stride over to where Renji and Ichigo were still arguing, now about the song blaring through the club's speakers. I sighed and gulped down the rest of my pink drink. What an interesting night this had turned out to be. Although, as much as I hated to admit it, I was a little glad that I had come.