AN: This is my VERY first Bleach Fic EVER!!! YAY!!!!
So yeah, gunna be some mild OOC-ness, and i guess it's a slash, although there's really not much happening in that department other than some hinted kissing. I'm gunna save the good stuff for later in the story.
Oh and it's definately a PwP. Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo totally a PwP. There's no way in hell I'm gunna be able to do a decent plot on my first try.
And as always, i am my own Beta, so errors are not entirely my fault. I can't help it if they still get past me after the third read-through.
"Great..." growled the teen as he rabbit-eared the page in his history book he'd been nursing for nearly an hour already. "What Renji?"
"Gotta a favor ta ask of ya," said the red head that was perched on Ichigo's windowsill.
"Yeah," grunted Ichigo, rubbing his tired eyes.
"Can I crash here tanight?"
Ichigo sighed. Why Renji couldn't just crash at Urahara's like he always did was beyond the orange-haired strawberry. "Go back to Urahara's. I got a history test in the morning and I can't sleep over your snoring."
"But I don' wanna go back there," he whined. "Those damn kids keep tryin' ta make me do stuff with 'em and it's gettin' really annoyin'. And they won't even let me train when I want either!"
"Not all of us like to fight crazy versions of our zanpaktou's at three in the morning, Renji."
"Not my fault tha trainin' room is only ever really open an' quiet a' three in tha mornin'. An' anyway, my damn gigai always needs some kinda work done on it."
"Make him give you a new one."
Renji slid down onto Ichigo's bed and walked over to the teen. "You feelin' alright? Usually by now you're yellin' and reachin' for Zangetsu."
"I told ya already. I got a test in the morning and don't have the time or energy to deal with ya right now."
"I'm not buyin' it," he said flatly. He peered intently at Ichigo's face. He even reached up to feel for a fever.
Ichigo ducked away and slapped at Renji's hand, "Stop it!"
Renji frowned, "Now I know somethin's wrong. Last time I did tha' you nearly tore my arm off." He sat down on the floor next to Ichigo's chair, "Come on, tell me wha's wrong."
"Since when do you actually care so much about me?"
"I don', but I can't just leave you alone if somethin' wrong. Wouldn't be right, and I'm not tha' much of an ass."
Ichigo sighed and returned to his book. He continued to stare at the same sentence he'd been trying to finish for more hours than he'd like to admit, but still couldn't string the words together.
"Either you have tha world's shortest attention span, or your juss fake readin' tha' book."
"What the hell you talking about?"
"You're eye's aren't even makin' it ta the end of tha' line. Even I can see tha'." He stood up, swiped the book from Ichigo's hands, re-folded the edge of the page and tossed it over his shoulder and onto the bed. "Come on Ichigo, tell me wha's buggin' you."
"There's nothing wrong with me."
"Bullshit," swore Renji, with a hell of alot more conviction that Ichigo thought he had. "I've seen that look on your face before. That's the exact same look you had when that traitor Aizen took off with Ichimaru and Tousen." He slid onto the desk and leaned forward. "Tell me."
"How about you get the hell off my desk and outta my room?"
"How 'bout I don't and you tell me what's bugging you?"
"And as much as I'd just love to start an infinite verbal loop with an idiot like you, I won't. Now get out before I throw you out."
"Ichigo," he growled warningly.
"Renji," returned the boy with equal determination.
And at that moment, the lovably squishy Kon decided to throw Ichigo's door open and run squealing inside. He darted under the bed screeching something about Yuzu and a pink frilly dress.
The moment broken, Ichigo and Renji turned from starting at Ichigo's bed and back to each other.
"Tha' happen often?"
"Only when Uryu and Yuzu go shopping together," he replied, looking slightly embarrassed. "Now...where were we... Oh yeah, I was about to tear your head off and feed it to the nearest hallow..."
"For the love a..." sighed Renji. "Is it so hard for ya ta just tell me what's wrong with ya?"
"Geeze...that's that last time I take Rukia's advice and try to be nice to ya..." he grumbled as he slid off the desk and walked back over to the window. "Sorry I bugged ya..." he said as he lept out.
Ichigo sat there dumbfounded. "Did he just apologize to me?" he asked no one in particular.
"Moron," came a muffled answer.
"What was that!" he snapped back.
Kon stuck his head out from under the covers that gave him refuge. "You really are an idiot. The guy was worried about you and you bit his head off. How's that for a friend?"
"Shut up you damn plushie." He sighed and flicked his table lamp off. He sat down on the edge of his bed, slumped form framed by the moonlight that entered from his open window.
"Why were you so mean to him, anyway?" asked the mod-soul, deciding that he felt like pushing his luck tonight.
"I don't know..." sighed the teen. "For some reason seeing his face just made me snap."
"Oh please Ichigo. If you had snapped, you'd both be out there bankai'ed and fighting to the death." Kon wiggled out from under the covers and sat down next to his friend. "So what is wrong with you tonight?"
Ichigo grabbed him by the head and chucked him against the wall.
"What the hell was that for!?!" demanded the hurt and angry mod-soul.
"I am sooooooooo beyond sick of people asking me that this week." was all the answer he got before Ichigo grabbed his substitute-shinigami badge and changed into his spirit form. Standing on the windowsill he said, "Watch my body Kon. I need some air." He jumped out and by the time Kon was able to look out, he was long gone.
"Stupid strawberry..." grumbled Renji as he paced the small park a few miles from Ichigo's house. He'd been to this park a few time before when he was having trouble sleeping, or needed some time away from the insane shopkeeper/landlord he'd been forced to live with the last few months. Or when he was sick of Rukia's blathering about Chappy the rabbit. Or Orihime's insane cooking lessons. Or the way to intense glares from the Quincy-boy...what was his name again...Uryu or something like that? He sighed and plopped down on top of the shell of a hallow turtle.
The red-head looked up and over to were he'd heard his name. He barely even blinked when he saw Ichigo standing a few feet away. He was mildly surprised that he hadn't sensed the boy. Usually Ichigo's spirit pressure was noticeable for miles around, but he must have been working on controlling it to be able to lower it to that low a level. He blinked at him a few times before adjusting his shoulders in to a more comfortable position.
"Come on Renji."
"Geeze, i didn't know you could go this long without talking. Your lung's must be bursting from hold your breath so long."
"Okay... I prolly deserve this," granted Ichigo as he walked the last few feet that separated them. "Listen, I know I was being a totally ass earlier...but I'm sorry." He paused for a second, waiting for a response. When none was had he continued, "I'm sorry. I'm not mad at you or anything. I took it out on you and I shouldn't have. You didn't do anything wrong. I'm just feeling really bummed and stressed and like I'm gunna crack and go berserk on someone half the time and I don't know why and it's driving me insane and you just ending up being the unlucky one that got the wrath and I'm really sorry and please say something because I'm gunna hit you so hard if I'm just wasting my breath talking to a brick wall," he finished breathlessly.
Renji turned to face him again, "Feel better now?"
Ichigo blinked, "Yeah, kinda."
Ichigo waited, just in case Renji had more to say.
"Wow, I must a really pissed you off."
Renji muttered something about 'biting the hand that tried to help'.
Ichigo nearly retorted with, "It's biting the hand that feeds you," but he was sensitive enough to know this wasn't the time or place for snappy come-back. Instead he went for the 'try and save the friendship' approach and said, "Come on, I'll buy you a drink or something."
Renji blinked, confused. "'Scuse me?"
"Ya know, as a 'I'm sorry' kinda thing. And anyway, it's getting kinda cold out here."
Renji snorted and slid off the turtle. "Fine...I could use a good stiff drink right now."
So half and hour later, they were both back in their bodies... err gigai in Renji's case... and were sitting at the bar at Ichigo's favorite tavern.
"Thank god's it's a Wednesday..." mumbled Ichigo as he surveyed the establishment. "Nice and quiet tonight."
"Yeah...I doubt I'd be able to handle a loud bar with a few drink in me."
"Few? Dude, you normally have nine and call it a light evening."
"This comming from the lightweight that can't handle three without getting loopy and doing stupid stuff."
"Oi. Didn't I already apologize for being an ass earlier? I know I was mean, but I can't have dented your ego that much."
"Don't call me an idiot you teme!"
"Nevermind," growled Renji. "Prolly not a good idea to start smashing stools and junk before we've even had anything ta drink."
"Ya don't get it, do ya?"
Ichigo was caught off-guard by the question. "Get what?"
Renji frowned and accepted his brink from the bar-tender. "Nevermind."
"No never mind. What don't I get?"
"It's more than nothing if your acting all emo and angry. That's supposed to be Uryu and Uruu's jobs."
"You wouldn't understand anyway. You're too young."
Ichigo snorted, "Don't start with that again. Just because I'm not a couple a hundred years old doesn't make me a clueless little kid."
"This comming from the man that's prolly never had his heart broken before..." sighed Renji over the lip of his glass before he down his shot.
"Yeah, I said it. I'm going emo because someone broke my heart today."
"So you and Rukia...?"
"Gods no!" he yelled, exasperated. "Rukia's practically my sister! I know people see it differently, and maybe I did like her like tha' once, but tha' was years ago. I just let 'em all think that because it's easier than admitting it."
Ichigo stared, amazed and throughly confused. "So if not Rukia..." he said slowly, "...then who?"
"Clueless baka," he sighed so quietly that Ichigo couldn't make out what he'd said.
"So i guess since I wouldn't tell you earlier what was bugging me, you aren't going to tell me what total teme broke your heart?"
"Since when do you care so much?" he asked, impersonating Ichigo's earlier condescending tone.
"Well, last time I checked, we were friends." He paused and thought. "But I could be wrong and we could go back to being enemies."
"Still friends..." chuckled Renji. "I honestly don't wanna get speared by Zangetsu anytime soon. Got a good enough taste of tha' blade last time we fought."
They shared a good natured laugh and the atmosphere lightened considerably.
The silence that followed was comfortable, for the most part. Renji didn't feel like keeping up a conversation, so he just nursed his way through several shots and a few beers. Ichigo was pondering Renji's earlier statement and running through his list of people that Renji knew and was systematically crossing off possible causes of his friend's heartache.
Went he reached the bottom of his mental list and had crossed off everyone he spoke. "So is there any chance of telling me so I can go hit 'em or something?"
"Nope, cause I get to do that this weekend at Urahara's."
Ichigo tried to remember what could be happening that weekend that would warrant a visit from more shinigami. Coming up blank he asked the obvious question, "What's happening this weekend?"
Renji turned and stared at him like he was stupid, "Weekend training sessions, remember?"
"Yeah, but that's just you, me, and Mr. Hat-and-clogs."
"Duh. Who else would be there?"
Wait what? Does he actually like that crazy old man?
"You and Urahara, eh?"
"Holy shit Ichigo, are you that stupid!?!"
Ichigo actually stared at him, not comprehending, for almost a minute. Then his jaw dropped hit the floor. And stayed there.
Renji covered his blush with his latest drink.
"Me?" was all the Ichigo was able to get out before his voice cracked.
Ichigo just stared.
Three thought's passed through Ichigo's head at that moment. 1) Holy shit Renji's really gay! 2) OMG He fell in love with ME!!! 3) Holy shit what now?!?
Several uncomfortable moments passed.
"Say somethin' Ichi."
"My brain's imploded right now, try again later," giggled Ichigo as his overloaded brain recalled the funny shirt he'd seen in the mall a few days prior.
Renji stared at him, completely confused for the barest of moments before busting out laughing.
Ichigo waited untill Renji was done dieing of laughter before he apologized for the umpteenth time that night, "Sorry. Don't know where that came from."
"S'okay. I needed tha' laugh." He smiled and wiped a tear from his eye. "We still okay, Ichigo? Ya know, now that you know my deepest, darkest secret?"
Ichigo smiled, "Still good Renji."
"Ya're not freaked out er anything?"
"Naw... not really. Hell, i wouldn't have some of my friends if I was. You've seen how Keigo gets."
Renji chuckled, "Smart kid, that one is. Had me figured out from minute one."
"So that's why he was smirking like an idiot that time you showed up at school!"
"Yup." He smiled for a few more moments before deciding to ask, "So were do we go from here? I swear, if you ask me too, I'll never mention this again and no one will ever have to know."
"I dunno..." replied Ichigo quietly. "Like I said, it doesn't really bother me... but I really don't think that anything could ever come of this, ya know?"
Renji sighed, "Had ta try at least..." He shoved he half finished beer away, "I'm done for the night. Last thing I need is to get tanked and do something really stupid."
"Ditto..." said the tired strawberry as he pulled some cash outta his wallet and paid for the drinks. "It's getting late, and I really have to get at least some sleep tonight."
They exited the bar and stood on the street corner.
"See ya, Renji," waved Ichigo as he turned down the street that led home.
"Yeah, later Ichigo," replied the older man as he left in the opposite direction, toward Urahara's shop.
Ichigo barely made it to school on time the next morning. He knew that going out drinking so last the night before was a bad idea, but it was worth the lecture on punctuality he got from his professor. Hell, getting Renji to admit something that big was well worth the price the next day. And anyway, he really hadn't had enough time to process all the information. He spent most of the day staring at the clock, willing to move faster. What he really needed was to go to a quiet place and think. Not that going home offered that kinda environment. Nooooooooo, not with a clinically insane father, an equally insane but much quieter sister, and a much less insane but mother-henish youngest sister. Nope, peace was not to found at the loony-bin he called home. And Urahara's basement training ground was off-limits for obvious reasons. So the next best place? That's right, the same park that the night before he'd found Renji sulking in. So after a mad dash home to drop his stuff, yanking Kon outta his plushie body, and changing into spirit form to get some damn peace without people staring at him funnily, he made his leisurely way to the park. Only to run right smack dab into who else but the man he had gone to the park to ponder, Renji Abarai !
"Oh, hey Renji," he greeted.
"Hey Ichigo," he replied as he scratched at the back of his neck. "What're you doin' here?"
"Same as you prolly, needed a quiet place to think. I notice you ditched the gigai"
"You're not in your body either."
"Yeah, but I got Kon to watch mine, so it's easier."
"Urahara's doing a tune-up on mine. So I had a couple of hours to wonder around."
They stood in uncomfortable silence for awhile. Despite Ichigo's declaration that everything was still okay between them, thing's definately were not.
And it was Renji who once again made the first move.
"So Ichigo...Are you sure were still cool?"
"I said we were, didn't I?"
"Yeah...but..." He paused to try and figure out how to say what he was thinking and have it make any sort of sense. "I dunno...things are different...after what I said last night it'd be weirder if they weren't...but I dunno..."
"Why didn't you tell me before?"
And that my friends, was the last thing Renji expected.
"Don't play dumb Renji. Why didn't you say anything sooner?"
"Ummm...Well... We were just really getting ta be friends...and I didn' wanna screw it up... and I though' you'd think I was weird..."
"And you prolly thought I'd hit you or something?"
"Tha' too," he conceded.
Ichigo sighed, "Ya know, you could've saved yourself alot of heartache if you'd just told me sooner."
"Yeah... but I was waiting for a better time ta tell ya."
"Riiiiiiight." He pushed himself up and sat down on the neck of the same turtle Renji was laying on the night before. "You tell Rukia any of this yet?"
"I ain't tell that yaoi fan girl nothin' more than she already thinks she knows. Thank Kami she's to dense to have figured out yet who was making me act so weird."
"Her and Orihime are the biggest fan girls I've ever met," chuckled Ichigo. "I caught them at school once with a copy of some reeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally disturbing manga that they'd swiped from Keigo the day before."
Renji shuddered. "Was it tha' one with tha gold lettered title?"
"With the two guys...?"
"Oh yeah... Wanted to puke when I saw it. But I settled for ripping it to shreds and burning the remains."
"Good idea... Tha' thing was juss too wrong..."
"Keigo showed it to you?"
"Yeah. He handed it ta me and said I'd prolly enjoy it."
"Remind me to smack him tomorrow..." Ichigo muttered. He blinked and seemed to snap back to reality, "Is it just me, or do we keep avoiding the real reason we're both out here?"
"It's just you," replied Renji laughing.
"I'm serious man."
"I know," he said when he stopped laughing. "I juss like ta tease ya."
"I'll bet you do."
"So... as I've asked a least three times already... wha' now? Are we still cool? Or have I done tha' thin' I was afraid of an' ruined our friendship forever?"
"Well, as weird as this sounds...and I really cannot believe that I'm gunna admit this... but I kinda...sorta...almost...like you as more than a friend...i think..."
And this is just another example of thing's Ichigo's said that Renji was not expecting.
"Seriously? I mean, seriously? Not like 'I'm goin' through tha' experimentation phase.' You think there coul' actually be more there?"
"Renji, if I thought it was an 'I'm gunna experiment with my best friend' kinda thing, i never would said anything. I moved past that kinda stuff before I ever met you."
"But you said you weren't sure."
"I said I wasn't sure about the liking you as more than a friend part, not the 'I'm gunna do stupid stuff with my best friend' part."
And we're back to awkwardness.
This time Ichigo felt like being first to break the thickly coiled tension.
"Honestly, I'm like 95 sure that I like you as more than a friend..."
"You sure as hell don't sound convinced."
"Never done anything like this before," he countered lamely.
"Ya ever even had a girlfriend er anything?"
"Ya serious? You've never dated before?"
"No... Never really had the time... or felt the need too... or wanted too..."
"So am I like your first' crush er something?"
"I guess..." muttered the uncomfortable strawberry.
"Wow Ichi-kun. I'm honored."
'Ichi? Kun? For real? Pet names? Oh hell no! No cute pet names! Tell him right now Ichigo! No pet names! No cute little titles and girly crap like that!' he screamed in his head. Of course, what came out was completely different. It was more like, "Shut up baka and get over here," as he grabbed the startled red-head and pulled him close.
That's how they shared their first kiss.
AN: And That is the end of the first chapter of my very first Bleach fic. Yayness!!! Been wanting to test out one a these for over 6 months now. And all it took to get me started was working on a Naru/Yondaime father/son fic. Crazy, ne?
So yeah, R&R is very much appreciated. And I know Ichi's really OOC, and prolly Renji too for that matter. But yeah, it's still my first time working with them, well any Bleach character really, so cut me a little slack.
Oh, and for the way Renji talks, i dunno if its just the way they dubbed it, but I've never noticed his words being so chopped up and everything, but in every fic I've ever read, he's always talked like that. I don't have the manga, so i can't really check, but I was just wondering if he really does talk like that in the manga or not. If he doesn't, then I'll go back and change this.
One more thing, i already said that i don't have the manga, but I've also only seen the anime up till the last episode of the Soul Society Arc. So since this takes places after that, I'm kinda working on what I've read in other fanfics. So yeah. I do know that Orihime is abducted something like the night after they get back, but I'm kinda ignoring this fact. Sorry for the cannon break, but I just don't have enough knowledge of what's going on then to stick to it, and I can't think of a way to justify Renji being in Karakura before the end of the Soul Society Arc. So yeah... Kinda stepping outta my usual writing style for this.