This chapter is a little longer and a little more dramatic. I really didn't see the story taking the turn it did last chapter. Also, I changed the ending a little. A thank you to you lovely reviewers. Reviews are my happy crack.
A reviewer also commented on how I should put the rape warning at the beginning. Maybe I'll go back and add it for those new to the story so they know what they're getting into, but I put it where I did because a good number of people already started reading this before I knew the story was going to take that turn, so if I put the warning waaayy back at the beginning, they're not going to see it. Hence, I put where I did, before the mention of rape, so *everyone * would see it. You were still warned beforehand, so if you don't like rape, then it's simple- don't keep reading.
For your convenience, so you don't have to back-track and re-read the last chapter, here's what I changed: (It's just the last paragraph)
The ryoka's heart thundered in his chest. "Shiro-chan." He whispered, then gathered the limp body to his chest tightly and buried his face in the mop of snowy down. The fragrance of powder-scented shampoo lingered in the fluffy white strands. He fingered a few. "Yukihime, why didn't you tell me?" He closed his eyes and felt a crack in his heart. "Don't you trust me, yuki hime?"
The images played like a clear, vivid movie in surround sound in his head. A younger, innocent Hitsugaya smiling softly, shyly up at Kusaka. The dark haired boy grinned back, reaching out and brushing his fingers through Hitsugaya's snowy, fluffy bangs. His grin grew when Hitsugaya's pale baby cheeks turned pink and his long black lashes lowered.
There was something soft and vulnerable abut the Hitsugaya in his head, and something sinister lurking in Kusaka's dark eyes and lecherous grin as he gazed at the lithe, little body. Ichigo wanted to punch that cocky smirk right off the bastard's face. Impulsively, he let his fist fly. Kusaka's body melted under his knuckles, amazingly soft like feathers.
Ichigo's eyes widened in surprise as his rival blurred then vanished right before him. He fell forward into blackness, something soft, hot, and small breaking his fall.
The strawberry blinked when it suddenly became dark. He was at school- his normal, human school- sitting on the ground in his uniform. Down the street, Kusaka and Hitsugaya were also in uniform; for some bizarre reason, Hitsugaya wore a grey, pleated skirt that sowed off the long, shapely legs that Ichigo loved. He stared at Hitsugaya's short, swishing skirt that occasionally flashed the barest edge of his panties. His brown eyes drunk in the rarely-exposed legs. Ichigo stared for several minutes, mind turning to a different track, when he noticed Kusaka carrying Hitsugaya's books- just like Ichigo did for the taichou when he was in the human world. He also noticed Kusaka and Hitsugaya's hands were entwined- just like Ichigo and Hitsugaya's when they walked home together.
Ichigo clenched his teeth and growled. Kusaka clutched Hitsugaya's dainty doll hand in his own clawed paw. Bastard. Ichigo would kill him. He snarled, ready to lung, let his inner hollow loose and tear Kusaka apart in a jealous frenzy for touching HIS yuki hime.
Kusaka suddenly stopped and pulled Hitsugaya to a stop as well. He dropped Hitsugaya's books then yanked the petite boy into his arms, kissing him fierce enough to bruise the tender pink lips. Hitsugaya stiffened in shock and he shoved, small fists pounding on Kusaka's chest. Kusaka ignored him, thrusting his tongue into Hitsugaya's mouth until the boy gagged. He ripped the struggling boy's shirt, clawed nails raking over the white skin and leaving angry red gouges behind. Hitsugaya shuddered and spasmed, struggling to get away, eyes clenched tight in fear. Kusaka's paws vanished under Hitsugaya's skirt, shredding his underwear. The tattered cloth floated to the ground like petals off a tree. Hitsugaya shuddered, tears trickling down his cheeks. He tried to get away, but Kusaka was too big, too powerful, too greedy. His screams were lost in Kusaka's savage kiss.
"BASTARD!" Ichigo snarled. Kusaka raised his head to stare at the orange haired man, releasing Hitsugaya's mouth. Blood smeared his lips; Hitsugaya's own lips were torn and bloody while red liquid ran down his legs from under his skirt.
Kusaka stared at Ichigo and smiled a red smile. "Mine. You couldn't save him, even if you were there. He never even *told* you about it. He's still mine. He always will be. He'll never give himself to you. Mine."
Ichigo jerked awake, panting and sweating. Kusaka's accusing laughter rung in his ears. Hitsugaya was limp and cool in his arms; his fever was down and his airways open enough for him to breathe. His battered body was in a deep, restful slumber his weakened immune system desperately needed.
Ichigo stared blankly up at the ceiling. Kusaka's face danced in his vision, combining with the bastard's laughter ringing in his ears. He looked at his yuki hime, so sweet in slumber, and saw red. Blood. Violation. Broken Trust.
Something more precious than virginity had been stolen from Hitsugaya. His ability to trust. From talking to certain shinigami, Ichigo knew Hitsugaya had been introverted as a child. He had never been popular due to his strong, icy reiatsu and his own standoff-ish behavior. The only friends he ever made were through his big sister, Momo, and even then he was always on the social fringe.
Until Kusaka. He had been the only one not intimidated by Hitsugaya's glacial beauty or frosty demeanor. Being alone never bothered the prodigy- he was used to it and rather preferred the company of his own thoughts to that of others. Kusaka changed all that. Being around Kusaka was easy and fun for Hitsugaya. The bigger boy was so smooth and cool like melted chocolate. They got along well together, were comfortable in each other's presence, like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
Ichigo was jealous of that, and of the sweet, open smiles Hitsugaya often graced the bastard with.
Hitsugaya's beauty, innocence, and strength enchanted Kusaka, just as they had Ichigo, but the strawberry never took that for granted, never forced himself onto Hitsugaya. Hitsugaya was a precious gift to Ichigo, someone, not something, to be treasured. What treasures Hitsugaya would not share, Kusaka had taken by force. He broke Hitsugaya's body, and his trust.
Hitsugaya was not the fragile doll he appeared. His intimidating strength lay in his blazing spirit. Even when ripped apart, physically and emotionally, he pieced himself back together and got back on his feet. But Kusaka's wounds left scars on his heart. He recovered, but tightened his defenses, put up thicker walls and pulled deeper inside himself. And never fell in love again.
Until Ichigo blundered his way in, shattering each defence until Hitsugaya was helpless against the hammering assault of the strawberry's love. Their relationship was not easy and smooth. It was more like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. They fought, made up, fought some more, fur flew and they learned to work around each other without crushing toes.
Part of that was Kusaka's fault. The scars he left did permanent damage to Hitsugaya's heart. It was so hard to reach in and get the boy to pen up. To smile at Ichigo like he used to smile so freely at Kusaka. The wariness was always there, backed by a very subtle, tightly controlled fear. Ichigo felt it in the trembling of Hitsugaya's soft petal lips when a kiss lingered too long and in the too-quick-to-be-suppressed shuddering when a touch became too intimate. He saw the fearful, wary doubt creep into the shadows of passion-darkened turquoise orbs.
Hitsugaya was afraid Ichigo would hurt him like Kusaka did, and that stabbed Ichigo in his heart. He knew it was a subconscious, knee-jerk reaction deep within Hitsugaya and the tiny taichou battled it with every ounce of his iron will. But the fact that it was a deep, entrenched fear in the core of Hitsugaya's being, a part Kusaka had touched and changed so deeply, angered Ichigo. He hated seeing Hitsugaya suffer, and he hated Kusaka for what he did to the taichou.
Ichigo wanted to kill Kusaka, but unfortuneately the bastard was already dead. He had been cold and buried for centuries while Hitsugaya struggled, soft and warm and hurting, in life, left to overcome the wounds Kusaka left behind.
Wounds that never healed, that left scars of fear and doubt in Hitsugaya's heart and made it so hard for him to trust and open up. The scars of that old broken relationship put holes in Ichigo and Hitsugaya's, erected needless barriers in their path and caused needless pain. Even dead and gone, Kusaka still caused problems between them. Problems Hitsugaya tried to keep buried and hidden.
Ichigo's jaw clenched and his stomach burned. He would never have know how deeply this affected his yuki hime if he hadn't heard him cry out in a nightmare. He was ready for battle, but there was no one to fight. His heart twisted with anger and pain. All he could do was probe Hitsugaya's heart for the answers to their unspoken problems they danced around.
Ichigo stared at Hitsugaya's sleeping face. So open and trusting, his draconian scowl locked away in his consciousness, guardian over his awakened heart. Here he was unguarded in Ichigo's arms. He was never like this when he was awake.
The strawberry felt hot water burn in his eyes and quickly closed them tightly. He pulled Hitsugaya to him, crushing the limp body to his chest and burying his f ace in the snowy hair. "Yuki hime." He said in a broken whisper. "My poor yuki hime. Why didn't you tell me?"