Uh, sorry people. This is not a new story. Somehow, I deleted this on accident. I revamped it a bit, but nothing drastic. Sorry for the confusion.

This is a thank you to letmyselfgo on LJ. She drew me some FABULOUS pictures of Shuuhei! You can se it if you got to:


Obviously, just change the (dot)s to periods.

Hope you all enjoy my first try a Renji/Ichigo! XD

Softest Touch

Ichigo pulled the window to his dorm room open with a grunt. He was going to have to knuckle down and grease the sill or replace the slide or something. The damn thing made too much noise, and was a pain in the ass to open and close. Thank gods he didn't have a roommate. He had enough trouble explaining why he was always falling asleep in class.

He had made friends in college, yeah, but he never did anything with them. To everyone that knew Kurosaki Ichigo, he was a regular student, taking a full load of classes, working a small job at a local bookstore - Gods a bookstore! He was such a geek! - and spent most of his time alone, studying in his room. Plain. Ordinary.

But as Abarai Renji, Shinigami Vice Captain of Squad Six, climbed through the window and stumbled into the room after him, he though for the millionth time how absolutely unordinary he really was.

"You okay?" Ichigo said. The red head was panting and holding the field dressing against his bloody left side.

"Yeah," Renji muttered. "It's nothing."

"Oh, okay," Ichigo scoffed. "I guess you don't need my help then, and I'll just go to bed."

"Fuck, Ichigo!" Renji sat down heavily on the bed next to Ichigo's body. "Come on, stop with the damn attitude. It fucking hurts okay?"

Ichigo felt a contraction in his chest. Renji's grimace and utterly dismal look struck a painful chord in Ichigo's heart. What was with Renji tonight? He had been distracted through the entire battle with the hollow, and now he looked so sad and forlorn it was making the younger man want to scream.

Come to think of it, Renji had been acting strange since he had come back from Soul Society. He had gotten quieter, more introverted. He didn't rise to the occasion when Ichigo tried to goad him into a fight. He sometimes seemed turned off to the very idea of talking to Ichigo. The only reason Renji was here at all, was because he was hurt, and Urahara was busy entertaining Yoruichi this evening.

Ichigo scratched the back of his head, unsure what to say, and watched Renji try to avoid his eyes.

"Sorry…" he murmured.

"It's okay…" Renji muttered back.

Ichigo felt that pain again as he studied Renji face, tried to will the red head to look at him. What had changed? What happened between them that was causing this tension? What had happened in Soul Society?

"Lemme get a first aid kit," Ichigo said. "Wait here."

He turned around and opened the door to his room. He checked the hallway and, seeing it was clear, moved silently to the bathroom. He grabbed the white box off the wall and turned to leave, but stopped when he saw his reflection in the mirror.

Dark circles and sallow cheeks stared back at him. Lonely eyes met his, and made him rethink the past few weeks. Had he been sleeping well? Did he always look like this? So run down? So incredibly pitiful?

Ichigo set the med kit on the sink and steadied himself as a kind of revelation swept over him.

Hadn't he been just as unresponsive to Renji's jibes as Renji was to his? Hadn't he also been slightly aloof when the two were together? He thought he had been acting in the same fashion he always acted around the older man. Could it be that Renji's retreat into isolation wasn't one sided, and it was, in fact, a reaction to Ichigo's behavior? School had been getting stressful, and the constant balancing of normal everyday problems with shinigami problems was beginning to wear on the nineteen year olds nerves.

Ichigo lowered his head and sighed. Maybe it was just as much his fault as it was Renji's for the new uncomfortable atmosphere between them. The young shinigami turned on the faucet and splashed cold water on his face. He was not going to do this to another person he cared about. He had pushed Orihime away, pushed Chad, pushed Ishida and Keigo and everyone else away. He was not going to do it to Renji. Not Renji. He cared about Renji too much.

He loved Renji too much.

He had come to terms with his sexuality at the end of high school. He was fine with it, he had acted on it. He had dated and experimented like any other young man learning the rules of relationship games. But no matter how many people he went out with, no matter how many people he experimented with, he could never get the vision of long red hair and black jagged tattoos out of his head.

No. He wouldn't lose Renji like he had lost everyone else. He would fight to keep the red head beside him. Even if the relationship was purely platonic, purely based on friendship, he wouldn't let him go.

Resolved, Ichigo slipped out of the bathroom and floated back down the hallway. When he reached his dorm, he noticed he had left his door open a crack; soft light spilled in a tiny line across the hall. He moved to open the door, but caught a glimpse of Renji sitting on his bed and he stilled.

Renji had pulled himself up further on the bed and was leaning against the wall. He had removed his kimono and sat lazily with his legs crossed, one hand pressed firmly against his wound. Nothing about his posture gave away any kind of loss of composure, but the look in his eyes was so sad, Ichigo froze outside the door. He felt a little shame spying on his best friend, but he so desperately wanted to see Renji without the protected layer he wore when they were together.

As Ichigo watched, Renji turned his head and gazed down at Ichigo's body. The younger man had been sleeping when he'd gotten the call for the hollow and had only been wearing a pair of sweatpants. Renji's eyes ran over the smooth skin and defined muscles of his torso and lingered on the lines of his jaw and cheeks. The red head sighed almost inaudibly and raised a hand to push a few strands of orange hair from Ichigo's eyes.

Ichigo watched, riveted, as Renji's fingers kept their contact. They moved softly across the skin of his forehead and ran gently through his mass of spiky hair. They caressed his scalp and touched softly down one cheek.

Ichigo shivered as he imagined those fingers doing those things when he was in his body. When he could actually feel the soft touches trail down his skin. Would Renji's fingers be cool and soothing? Or would they be warm? Hot like his attitude. Burning his skin as they made their way carefully down his jaw… up his chin… up to… his mouth?

Ichigo swallowed thickly and tried to control his breathing. He felt his pants tighten as his cock swelled from watching one of his fantasies brought to life before his eyes. Renji was running his fingers over his lips, touching the sensitive pink flesh. Pulling the bottom lip down to gently dip into the wetness of his mouth. Oh, how he wished he was in his body right now!

Then, Ichigo's world slowed, his breath hitched and his heart constricted. As he watched in fascination, as Renji lifted his hand to bring the taste of the younger man to his own lips. He ran his tongue over the tip of his finger before pulling the digit into his mouth to suck on the flavor.

Okay, Ichigo… get a hold on yourself… calm down… go in there, dress his wound… go slow…

Who was he kidding? Go slow? He wanted to bust in there and fuck the red head senseless! Go slow my ass!

He shifted the med kit in his hands and shuffled around before he opened the door, giving Renji a moment to compose himself before he entered.

"Damn, Ichigo," Renji muttered. "You have to go all the way to Soul Society to get the med kit? What the hell?"

Ichigo closed the door behind him and discretely locked it behind his back.

"Shut up, Renji. Just let me take care of your wound." He said it with no malice so Renji just glared.

Ichigo moved to the bed and sat beside Renji, folding his legs underneath him. He peeled the dressing away from Renji's side and examined the two small gashes. The next few minutes were spent in silence as Ichigo cleaned and bandaged the cuts.

As Ichigo taped the gauze in place, he tried to break the tension by calmly teasing the red head.

"You know these cuts don't even need stitches. You getting soft in your old age?"

To his delight, Renji tried to stop a grin from spreading. "Shut up," he turned away. "I got this saving your sorry ass."

"Ha!" Ichigo retaliated. "Was that before or after I stopped flying projectiles from splitting your head open?"

Renji lost his grin quickly. "After…" he whispered.

Damnit, that hadn't gone as planned. Now Renji felt guilty. Ichigo sighed and decided to just plunge ahead with what really needed to be talked about.

"Renji…" he started.

He could see the older man visibly tense. It was obvious Renji knew what Ichigo wanted to talk about, and was not in agreement. In fact he looked desperate to get away.

Ichigo clenched his fists. Just do it, get it out there.

"Renji… why are things different between us? Why is there so much tension all of a sudden?"

Renji closed his eyes and leaned his head against the wall. His posture relaxed a little, but it was more from defeat than any kind of comfort.

"It…" he started.

Ichigo's eyebrows lifted. "It what?"

Renji rubbed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. "It hasn't really been all of a sudden… for me anyway…"

Ichigo frowned and moved the med kit off the bed. He folded his arms in his lap and waited patiently for Renji to continue.

"Last time I left to go back to Soul Society… you seemed… I don't know… distant… like you really didn't care if I was here or not." Renji sat up and leaned his elbows on his knees. He put his head in his hands and rubbed at his temples slowly. "I just… got this feeling like we were drifting apart…"

Shit. He'd been right in his assumption. Fuck. He had been pushing Renji away just like everyone else.

"I talked to Hisagi about it and he said I should come back one more time… just as an experiment. Just to see if I was right… and now I know…"

Ichigo's lungs constricted. "You know what?"

Renji raised his head and looked at Ichigo with sad eyes.

"That you don't want me here anymore…"

Ichigo's jaw dropped. How had this gotten so far? What had he done? What was he thinking!? Taking advantage of Renji's feelings for some selfish, stupid reason that he didn't even understand himself!

"Renji," Ichigo said firmly. "That's not true."

Renji moved to get off the bed.

"It's okay, Ichigo. I d-"

Ichigo pushed Renji back against the wall. He brought his face in close to Renji's and growled at the older man.

"I just fucking said that wasn't true, asshole! Why aren't you listening to me? I've felt we were drifting apart too, but it was because you were acting weird! Don't pin this all on me cause you've been selfish and a jerk too!"

To Ichigo's shock and surprise, Renji actually smiled. The younger man's hold on the other's shoulders lightened and he faltered in his anger.

"Ichigo…" Renji almost chuckled. "Did you just admit to being a jerk?"

Ichigo felt his face heat up. Goddamnit he was blushing now.

"Uh…" he stammered. "Yeah… I think I did."

Renji's eyes brightened a little as Ichigo released him and backed away to sit beside him.

"So… you don't want me gone?"

Ichigo felt like tearing his hair out. "No! Fuckhead! I don't! I like having you around! You're my best friend!"

The grin that split Renji's face made Ichigo feel a little gooey inside. Okay, maybe he had inflamed the guy's ego a little too much.

"Even if you are an asshole sometimes," he added.

Renji laughed, and Ichigo felt his pants tighten again. Make a move… but do it slowly…

"Renji…" Ichigo started, and the seriousness in his voice gave him the red head's full attention.

"Yeah?" Renji said, the worry tugging on the corner of his eyes again.

Ichigo took a deep breath. "If you left, and didn't come on patrols here again… I'd be really… really…"

Ichigo looked up at the older man. His face was expectant, craving the words Ichigo couldn't say.

"Really what, Ichigo…"

Ichigo moved a little closer to the other man and lowered his voice.

"I really like being with you, Renji…"

He watched the reaction of the taller man. He watched several emotion play across his handsome face; dance in his dark eyes.

"Y-you do?" Renji stammered.

Ichigo nodded. "Yeah, I do…"

Renji's shoulders started to physically shake. Just a small tremor, but Ichigo's sharp eyes didn't miss it.

"Ichigo…" Renji whispered.

"Hmm?" Ichigo hummed.

"I… you're gonna have to stop looking at me like that…"

Ichigo leaned in closer, gazing intently into chocolate – raspberry eyes. He was mesmerized by the passion and the heat he saw being repressed and cautiously contained in those pools of color.

"Why?" Ichigo whispered.

Renji's breath caught and he leaned slightly away from the younger man.

"I can't… I won't be able to control myself…"

Ichigo grinned. He had him. Everything he wanted was sitting right there before him. His for the taking. He let his attention wander to the tattoos on Renji's neck, down his chest and along his arms. Ichigo caressed Renji with his eyes, making the older man squirm underneath his gaze.

"Renji…" Ichigo whispered huskily.

Renji licked his lips and choked out a tiny 'hmm'.

Brown eyes met dark auburn as Ichigo came close enough to feel Renji's warm breath on his face.

"Will you touch me like you touched my body while you thought I was gone?"

Renji paled. For a second he looked ready to bolt, but Ichigo put a hand over his and gently caressed his skin with the pad of his thumb.

"You…" Renji looked horrified. "You saw… you were watching?"

Ichigo nodded. "Yeah, I was…" He moved closer until they were a hair's breath away from each other. Ichigo brought up his other hand to trace a soft touch down Renji's jaw. "I liked it, Renji… It got me hard…"

Suddenly, Ichigo felt the mattress against his back and Renji was above him pinning both his arms. The red head was breathing heavily against his skin and the younger man could feel the hard press of the other's cock against his thigh.

"If this…" Renji panted. "If this is a joke, Ichigo… I'll fucking kill you."

"No joke, Renji," Ichigo tilted his chin up. "Kiss me."

He lost his breath as Renji crushed their lips together. The older man's tongue pressed forward and dove into Ichigo's mouth, consuming him. He took what he wanted, seizing as much of Ichigo's taste as he could. His hands were everywhere, ripping off his kimono, his hakama, running his fingers over his chest, his thighs, his cock.

Ichigo's head swam. He floated above the bed as he was plundered, ravished. His legs were spread, and he felt Renji's weight come down on his pelvis. Their erections ground together as the older man rocked his hips.

"Ichigo…" he heard Renji rasp above him.

"What?" he answered breathlessly.

"Is this your first time?"

Ichigo shook his head. "No, I'm sorry." He didn't know why he felt the need to apologize. How could he have known Renji wanted him?

"No, it's okay," Renji panted as he rose up above him, settling on his knees and pulling Ichigo's legs up. "That means I can fuck you the way I want, and not have to worry about hurting you too bad."

Ichigo rolled his eyes. "Oh, that's romantic."

Renji grinned and spit into his palm. He slicked the head of his cock and lined himself up. He guided himself in with one hand and held one of Ichigo's knees against his chest with the other. As he pressed himself inside, Ichigo gasped at the familiar feeling of being stretched. The pressure of being filled.

Gods he's huge… Ichigo thought. He hadn't had a chance to really look at Renji before, but he was damn sure going to check him out afterward. He arched his back and moaned as Renji's length was pushed into him to the hilt.

"Oh fuck, Ichigo…" Renji was holding his breath; his grip around his bent knee was tight.

"Oh gods, Renji move," pleaded Ichigo.

Renji did, pulling out slightly and pressing forward, getting a feel for what Ichigo liked, how fast he could take things. He was being careful and Ichigo appreciated it, but it wasn't what he wanted at that moment.

"Renji!" he met the red head's glazed look and propped himself on his elbows.

"Fuck. Me." he ordered.

Heat flashed in Renji's eyes, and he started to move in earnest. Pounding into the younger man, his hips snapping forward over and over until he hit that spot. That spot that made Ichigo see stars and cry out.

"Renji! Ahh... fuck!"

Renji moved to lean over Ichigo, he bent the smaller man's legs back almost all the way to the bed. His quick breaths spilled over Ichigo's eyes. His whispers were caught as they fell on the younger man's ears.

"Ichigo… I love you…"

Ichigo brought his hands up to tangle in Renji's red locks. He pulled the older man's face down to meet his lips in a searing kiss. He pulled away quickly and panted against the other man's mouth.

"I love you… I love you Renji…"

Renji let out a choked moan and reached between their bodies, gripping Ichigo's member and pumped furiously in time with his thrusts.

"Ahh, Ichigo… Mmmm... you feel so good…"

Ichigo lifted his arms to grip the headboard. He felt his climax coming, pressing in on him like a tidal wave. Heat coiled in his belly and he panted breathlessly.

"Gods, Renji... I'm... ahh I'm coming..."

Then he shattered. Time seemed to stop as his orgasm broke and exploded from his body. He screamed Renji's same as the fruits of their lovemaking sprayed across his chest. Renji followed close behind, driving himself hard into his last few thrusts, spilling his seed into Ichigo's body. He collapsed onto the smaller man, wrapping his arms around Ichigo's torso.

Ichigo slung a lazy yet satisfied arm around Renji's neck. He was sated, falling into a comfortable haze of post orgasm bliss.

"Ichigo…" Renji panted, still slightly out of breath.

"Yeah," Ichigo murmured.

"I really do love you, ya know…" his words were made choppy by his nervousness. "I wasn't just saying that in like… the heat of the moment or anything…"

Ichigo brought his other arm around and hugged Renji against his chest.

"I wasn't just saying it either…"

Renji nuzzled into the crook of Ichigo's neck and sighed. "Okay… good…"

Ichigo smiled then, drifting off to sleep with the feeling of Renji's warm body against his own, and the softest touches caressing his skin.